Manufactured Spending

Changes to Simon Mall Gift Cards

Simon Mall Visa Gift Card

Update: The shipping fee has increased to $3.99.

I’ve been hearing rumblings for a while now about Simon Malls implementing changes to their Visa gift cards. I assumed this would involve lower limits on the number of cards that could be purchased or perhaps a ban on credit cards altogether. Reader Tim alerted me this morning to the changes that have been implemented, which are mostly positive. I have outlined them below:

1. Simon Mall Visa Gift Cards are now issued by Metabank. Previously, Simon Mall Visa gift cards were issued by U.S. Bank. This doesn’t change much, since the Metabank issued cards are PIN-enable and can be used to fund Bluebird cards at Walmart. The American Express version of the card is still available, but most of us don’t buy those anyway.

2. A new look. This isn’t really relevant in the grander scheme of things, but the card does look drastically different. So if you buy these in-store, don’t be thrown off when you get these:

The new Simon Mall Visa gift card
The new Simon Mall Visa gift card

3. A new way to buy them. Along with the actual cards, the Simon Mall gift card page has also been redesigned and the Visa and American Express logos aren’t initially displayed. Once you pick a card design, you’ll see an option to choose between the two versions. When you pick the Visa version, you’ll be redirected to a Simon Giftcard page “powered by Gift Card Mall” and the order process is identical to the one involved when ordering GCM Visa gift cards. The difference is that you can only buy up to $500 in Simon Mall Visa gift cards at a time – including the $2.95 fee. So really, you need to enter $497 for the purchase amount. For a more direct path to the purchase page, go to

4. Change in fees, purchase limit. Previously, it cost $5.95 to purchase $500 Simon Mall Visa gift cards online. Now that Gift Card Mall is processing the orders, a $2.95 card fee applies and shipping is $1.99. While the fees have been reduced by $1.01, the maximum denomination you can purchase has decreased by $3. For the maximum $497 gift card order, customers will pay a total of $501.94, including shipping and fees. 

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  1. Jerry Mandel

    Dallas, Texas Simon Mall–$250 is the most to be loaded on each VISA card. Fee is $2 on each card. Mall is managed by but not owned by Simon.

  2. I tried buying them with American Express gift cards earlier in the week, but the website said it was an invalid payment method. Anyone else have this issue?

    • I haven’t tried it but read elsewhere that others have had the same experience. I used to be able to purchase Simon GC at a local mall with an AmEx GC (one with my name printed on it) but no longer acceptable

  3. Dallas Simon limits us to FOUR $250 cards per day.

    • I bought gift cards last week at the Galleria mall in Dallas and was not a me to load them at Walmart on my bluebird! Amex requested a copy if my debit card bank statement, id and of the gift card.

  4. Does it have to be a Simon Mall? How about Sunrise cards from large malls such as Tysons Corner in northern VA?

    • Simons are nice because they charge only $2.95 per card. I’ve used the one in Pentagon City. If you try the Sunrise, please post your experience. 🙂

      • Plus Pentagon City added a few pieces of chocolate with the order 😀

        • I’ve purchased Simon GCs at Pentagon City but most often at Leesburg Crossing. Leesburg now has a limit of $10k per person per visit, total (meaning 19 x $500, unless you want to buy $497 cards).

          I got cookies and a bottle of water on my Pentagon visit in August 🙂

          I was blacklisted at Tysons (Macerich) after two purchases.

  5. So this means to do, say, $3000 of cards you would need to do about 6 separate orders. Any idea whether there is a limit on number of orders you can make in a certain period? Any word on any flags for too many orders in a certain period?

    • I’m not sure about limits, but I do know you can’t buy more than $500 per day with the same card. As for red flags, since these are now being processed by GiftCardMall, we may be subject to additional scrutiny. In the past, when I’ve placed a GCM Visa order over $3k, they’ve sent me an email asking me to submit a verification form. Since GCM is processing these card orders now, I assume they’ll implement the same security measures.

  6. Thanks for this timely post Ariana. I’ve been buying these via a local Simon Mall since January, at a modest rate of about one per month. Never had the same clerk, yet I was starting to get friendly “grilling” as to why I’d be buying them…. Always kept it polite, never mentioning BB. Being able to buy them on-line with a modest fee could help by-pass this dread…. Hoping no issues arise due to this card being issued via metabank, rather than US Bank.

    • The safe answer to that is always, “I use these for household budgeting purposes.” Makes total sense! I’m keeping my fingers crossed there won’t be issues. Tim was able to load them just fine today, but Metabank has been problematic in the past.

  7. About the sane, no 1 for English…card #, expiration date! CID # and then punch 5 enter your pin…did 4 today,

  8. I but 4 $500 at a time no problem, all they can say is no so ask, never had a problem

    Been doing this after the mind closed it’s doors…

    Also watch for $10 off each $50 Lowe’s gift cards a 20% discount, Nice deal from SM,

  9. do you think WM will take any action like OV since everybody is pouring in on this scheme ?also the kios is a Meta Bank system, I wonder if they(WM)will find ways to end this.

    • I hope not, though my guess is eventually all of this will come tumbling down. That’s interesting RE the kiosk – could certainly be the case, though for now you can load them at the kiosk just fine.

    • WM is making money from this–they have no incentive to shut it down, as long as they are sure the cards are not stolen.

    • Ben Franklin [pre-death]

      Why do they care so much? I just can’t put my finger on why they care. You say that “everybody is pouring in on this” but “everybody” in the world of MS is an extremely small % of the population. Most people haven’t even heard of MS. Many who have heard don’t take part in it. All these policy changes, software updates, and PoS updates just seem so heavy handed for the small # of people taking advantage of the system. This further proves to me that the wealthy are the only people allowed to get REAL free stuff. The rest of us get slim pickings even when we work our butts off to get them!

  10. I can’t find Simon gift card with the link

  11. Previously it cost $5.95, minus the $2 coupon after the first one, for a total fee including shipping of $3.95. It was not a separate $2.95 plus shipping fee. So its actually increased from $3.95 to $4.95 each to buy them online, which is too bad.

  12. Can you use these new Simon Visa gift cards on Evolve payments?

  13. Nobody at nowhere

    There was some discussion elsewhere regarding Metabank/Blackhawk and difficulties with them in the past. I have no particular experience with them, so I can only go with what I have read, which is mainly that Metabank/Blackhawk does not like when VGCs are unloaded in one swipe. I am curious what you think about the following: say that I went to a Simon Mall and scored $2000 worth of the new VGCs (4 cards at $500 each). My local WM does not have a kiosk, so I have been going to the customer service center for BB loading, as many cashiers seem to be unable/unwilling to do this, and I’m not always buying something. The cashiers at my local WM have been told no more than $1000 per transaction for BB loads per customer (perhaps this is store policy). So I unload two of my $500 VGCs to BB, and I have two VGCs still to unload. Metabank/Blackhawk is obviously able to see that I just unloaded half of my VGCs with one swipe; what are the chances they would put a hold on the remaining two VGCs? In other words, what I am wondering is: do you think it be unwise to limit myself to purchasing less than $1000 at a time from Simon Mall? In this way, I virtually guarantee that everything gets unloaded in one visit to WM.

  14. a;lksjdf ;lakjsdf

    I don’t understand what card this would be worthwhile for. GCM doesn’t take AGC. Thx.

  15. Barclays 2.2% rewards – works for me 🙂

  16. Went to my local mall today and tried to buy a Visa card with my AGF. Was told as of today they no longer accept them for purchasing their gift cards because “there was too much fraud”. Anyone else have this experience?

    • I had that happen to me a few months back. I would recommend ordering custom Amex gc’s with your name on them, but right now every major portal has pulled Amex GC’s from their payout list.

  17. Have the rules changed and Simon Malls are now limiting purchases to 2x$500 GCs per customer? Or does it depend on location?

    • It depends on location. I’ve heard $3k per day from some folks.

      • The Leesburg, VA location is $10k per day. Their only issue was that a guy and his wife would come in and each buy $20k, then there wasn’t anything left for anyone else. They put the limit in place to allow more customers to buy.

        • troydwhite — have you been able to use an American Express gift card to buy at Leesburg? I was told no gift cards at Simon Mall at Pentagon City and also at Hagerstown. Thanks.

  18. How many back to back orders can be placed online? Ie, can i buy 3 back to back today (497 ea) and then maybe another 3 next month? anyone tried this?

  19. Looks like S/H jumped up to $3.99. Now the fees > 1%

  20. Not worth it anymore. Fee is now 2.95 + 3.99 = 6.94 for a $497 gift card.

  21. Shipping fee increased to $3.99. Deal is dead! 🙂

  22. What alternatives we have now that Simon Mall VGC online fee is too high.

  23. When buying through GCM, The shipping cost shown as 3.99-How to get 1.99 Shipping?
    Do i need to request coupon code from GCM after first purchase?

  24. gives 2% cash back on it if you track the purchase, more than covers the fees, turns put to be a $3 profit. doesnt work with chrome, works with internet explorer though

  25. Hi There! I’m new to Bluebird and gaining miles. I would like to try this method, but we don’t have a Simon’s bank nearby. I do, however, bank with Navy Federal and I saw on their website you can purchase giftcards up to $500 via credit card if you go to a branch and there’s no fee. Will this work the same as the Simon’s cards?

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