In a recent post, I mentioned using Vanilla Visa gift cards to purchase money orders at Walmart. Some readers have been asking me how that’s possible, after Walmart banned the use of gift cards for money order purchases a while back. The only problem I’ve ever had with buying money orders was when the cashiers noticed the card and told me I could’t use it. Other than that, there’s a misconception that the registers are hard-coded to reject Visa gift cards as a payment option. That’s only partly true.
Right after swiping your Vanilla Visa gift card, you’ll notice for a brief moment a message pops up on the PIN pad, asking you to choose between processing the transaction as either debit or credit. This message only appears for a brief moment and if you don’t choose, it gets automatically processed as credit and thus your card gets rejected. The solution here is to have the pen ready and as soon as you swipe your card, and select debit as soon as the option appears. Most of you know this, but those who don’t and as a result have a large stash of gift cards they’re trying to unload, this might be helpful.
I personally hadn’t even noticed the options on the PIN pad the first time I encountered this problem. When several transactions got declined, the cashier actually pointed it out to me and after following her instructions, I was able to complete the transaction without problems.
An issue I’ve reported when using Vanilla Visas to load Redbird is a “card type not accepted” error message that pops up sometimes. I always come prepared with a purse full of gift cards, so on the occasions when this has happened, I set the offending card aside and had a back-up. I think the problem may be that these gift cards, despite being confirmed as active upon purchase, can’t always be used right away. Waiting 24 hours after purchase may be the solution. I can’t say for sure if that’s the cause of the problem, but in my case it worked.
If there are any other issues you know of involving Redbird loads or money order purchases made with Visa gift cards, feel free to share it below. If you have a solution to any of those problems, feel free to share.
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