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Visa Gift Cards 101: The Basics You Should Know

How much do you know about Visa gift cards? They are one of the most popular and accepted gift cards globally. Visa gift cards are issued by global payment technology leader Visa and are accepted in over 200 countries and territories. 

They do not have brand or store restrictions and allow users to shop on Amazon and eBay and pay for goods and services anywhere Visa cards are accepted. 

There is much more to learn about Visa gift cards, like their benefits, how they differ from debit cards, how to buy and sell them, how to use a Visa gift card, how to activate them, how to check the balance, and more. 

In this article, I will explain all the basics you should know about Visa gift cards. If you’re ready, let’s begin.

What Are Visa Gift Cards?

Visa gift cards are prepaid cards that allow payments to merchants globally who accept Visa cards. They are not reloadable and come in digital and physical forms between $25 and $500 denominations. 

Visa gift cards allow users to shop at brands, stores and gas stations without barriers. They can be used to withdraw from ATMs and may be eligible for cash advances.

What Are Visa Gift Cards?

There are three main types of Visa gift cards:

1. Standard Visa gift card:

Standard Visa cards are the most common type of Visa gift card. They are loaded with a fixed amount of money and typically expire after seven years.

2. Custom Visa gift card:

Custom gift cards allow for personalisation with an image or message of choice. However, they have the same features as the standard Visa gift card.

3. Visa e-gift cards:

Visa e-git cards are digital versions of standard gift cards, typically sent over email addresses. They are perfect for gifting over a distance and can only be used to purchase online.

3 Differences Between Visa Gift Cards And Visa Debit Cards

Visa gift cards are different from Visa debit cards in that they are issued by different providers, offer partial anonymity, and allow limited funds.

3 difference between a Visa Gift Card and a Visa Debit Card

1. Different Issuers:

Visa debit cards are different from Visa gift cards. Banks issue their customers Visa debit cards to enable them to withdraw cash and make online payments, while preloaded Visa gift cards can be purchased from retailers online and offline. 

2. Partial Anonymity:

Visa gift cards offer some level of anonymity; users are often asked to register their gift cards upon purchase so that the issuer can protect them in the case of theft or loss. 

However, unlike a Visa credit or debit card, issuers cannot have a complete record of the users’ data as they are not linked to the user’s bank.

3. Limited funds:

Unlike debit cards, Visa gift cards often have a preset amount of funds loaded inside and are not reloadable. Once the funds are used up, the cards must be replaced.

4 Benefits Of Visa Gift Cards

Visa gift cards offer flexibility and convenience. They are also usable for ATM transactions, provide protection in the event of loss, and are budget-friendly.

1. Flexibility And Convenience:

Visa gift cards outperform other gift cards due to their global acceptability at millions of merchants worldwide. They are not limited and can be used across brands or stores.

2. Usable For ATM Transactions:

Users can use their Visa gift card to withdraw cash from ATM locations, just like regular debit cards. Of course, after activating the card and setting up their PIN, they must confirm that it is enabled for ATM transactions. 

3. Protection In The Event Of Loss:

Visa gift card protects the user’s remaining balances in the event of loss or theft. Users can contact the card issuer for cancellation and replacement.

4. Budget-Friendly:

With denominations between $25 and $500, users can easily choose a gift card that matches their budget and load the amount they want on the card.

Where To Buy And Sell Visa Gift Cards In Nigeria

There is no shortage of options for purchasing Visa gift cards. They are available at various physical and online stores and sold by numerous gift card vendors. 


However, one platform stands out. Cardtonic stocks the best-selling gift cards, offering customers the most secure way to buy or sell gift cards at competitive rates in Nigeria. 

How To Activate And Register A Visa Gift Card

After purchase, you must activate your Visa gift card. To do so, visit the card link and enter your card details. Alternatively, you can call the phone number on the front or back of the card.

It is pertinent to note that a Visa gift card attracts an activation fee ranging from $2.95 to $5.95, depending on its value.

Registering your card is an extra step to secure it from possible loss or theft; this means submitting your contact and gift card details to the issuer. After the registration process is completed, you should receive a confirmation message or email.

How To Redeem And Shop With A Visa Gift Card

Once the card is activated, users can redeem Visa gift cards anywhere Visa cards are accepted, i.e., in a physical shop, online shop, or e-commerce store like eBay.

How to Use Visa Gift Card Online

After adding items to the cart, take the following steps:

1. Tap Add New Card payment method.

2. Enter your Visa gift card number, expiration date, security code, and name.

3. Check out, confirm and pay.

How To Check Your Visa Gift Card Balance

Checking your Visa gift card balance is easy and can be done by completing the following steps:

1. Visit the card issuer’s website.

2. Locate the Check Balance tab.

3. Enter the 16-digit number and security code.

4. Tap Check Balance.

Alternatively, you can call a toll-free number on the back of the card to request your balance.

How To Secure Your Visa Gift Card

Visa gift cards should be treated like regular credit cards, and adequate measures should be taken to ensure security.

A few essential checkboxes include users refraining from sharing card details with third parties, registering their Visa gift card and staying wary of phishing scams.

Frequently Asked Questions About Visa Gift Cards

1. How Can I Reload My Visa Gift Card?

Unfortunately, Visa gift cards are not reloadable, and the user cannot add additional funds when the original balance is used up.

2. What Happens When My Visa Gift Card Expires?

Visa gift cards expire seven years from when they are issued. Expiry dates are often printed on your card for reference. After expiry, you may dispose of the cards. 

However, if you’ve got some balance left, you can contact your issuer to request a replacement. You may be charged a replacement fee.

3. Where Can I Buy A Visa Gift Card?

Visa gift cards can be purchased at reputable stores, platforms, and vendors, but if you need a trusted platform to buy Visa gift cards securely at competitive costs, Cardtonic is your best bet.

4. Are There Any Fees Associated With Using A Visa Gift Card?

Visa gift card users are charged activation and replacement fees. Inactivity and purchase fees are other fees to consider. It is essential to find out every associated fee from your card issuer.

5. What Should I Do If My Gift Card Is Lost Or Stolen?

If you lose your gift card, it is important to report the incident to the card issuer immediately so they can block access to the card and protect existing funds.


Visa gift cards are one of the best options because of their flexibility, convenience, and budget-friendliness. In this Visa Gift Card 101 piece, I delved into the basics of Visa gift cards and mapped out how to use them, including activation, registration, and checking balances.

I am sure you are ready to flex your muscles and show your peeps how much you have learned about Visa gift cards. Well, Visa gift cards are one of the many gift card options we have here at Cardtonic, and you may want to explore them all.


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