I was at a local Walmart last weekend, trying to liquidate some gift cards through money order purchases. I came across an issue that I’ve never experienced before and that you all should be aware of if you’re continuing to buy (and activate) gift cards through the giftcards.com mobile app: The app no longer activates gift cards, even though it might appear that way.
I’ve been out of the loop for the past few months, so I had no idea this had become fairly common. A Google search turned up nothing and it wasn’t until I called giftcards.com that I realized there was an issue with the app. Three of my cards got declined in a row, so I got worried. Especially when the mobile app displayed all of the cards as active with $500 balances.
I called giftcards.com and had a very strange exchange with the rep, who claimed he would activate all of my cards “when you get off the phone.” He did point out that if I was using the website to activate cards, I should try using Chrome, because the site was experiencing issues with certain browsers. Uhm, ok. I didn’t have my laptop with me, so I quickly re-activated the cards on my phone browser. It worked! Moral of the story: The giftcards.com mobile app is no longer a reliable source for activating (or checking the status of) a gift card. Go directly to the website instead.
I’m hoping this is a temporary glitch because using the mobile app is way more convenient than the website. Anyway, if you’re still liquidating Visa and MasterCard gift cards from giftcards.com, you need to be aware of this issue. The mobile app may not actually activate your gift cards. Even though you’ll get a message saying they were activated and the full balance is reflected.
After giftcards. com discontinued cash back on Visa gift card purchases, most of you probably aren’t placing as many orders as before. Since the cash back rate for MasterCard gift cards wen up to 1.5%, it absolutely makes sense to keep ordering from the site. Just be aware of the MasterCard gift card liquidation trick.
When this happened, I immediately began contemplating alternate ways of earning points and miles. I thought of the Citi checking account offer I was recently targeted for, which could generate 85,000 AAdvantage miles for me. I began tallying up my credit card inquiries and thinking of which cards to apply for next. All of this made me realize I’ll be fine. If things really fall apart and Walmart stops accepting Visa gift cards for money order purchases, I can earn miles in other ways. In fact, just this last month I earned over 85,000 points from Amex Offers alone. It’s best not to depend on a single point-earning method. Always have a back-up plan.
Have you had issues with activating Visa and MasterCard gift cards from giftcards.com? What do you plan on doing in case of a shut-down?]
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