The other day I was making my way through the drive-through at Wendy’s (as you know, I have quite the affinity for Wendy’s cheap menu items) – and decided to use the remaining balance on a Discover gift card balance. I proceeded to hand over the card to the cashier and after he swiped it, said the card doesn’t work for just part of the balance. Meaning, I have to use the card for the exact amount that is left on the card or just whittle it down with small payments.
Needless to say, I’ve had this problem before and I don’t know what the deal is with these cards.
So, I did a little research. There is a good story on Wisebread that talks about this very issue – how to use remaining small balances on pre-paid gift cards.
One of the things they mention doing is buying an Amazon gift card with it (you can buy anything over $5 – in any increment) and send it to yourself. Then you can turn around and deposit it into your Amazon gift card balance online. That is, if you like shopping Amazon. If you don’t, then this is not such a great deal.
But what about using it to cover part of your balance at a store or online retailer?
For that I had to do some more digging. Apparently there is this term for using two methods of payment for one transaction: split-tender (and this is no side of beef).
It turns out many online retailers are not good about doing these yet – so your ability to get rid of your balance through the web stores is limited. However, I have done this before at places like Target, WalMart – but these were with gift cards – not pre-paid cash gift cards. Most of these cards are supposed to be processed as credit cards, so perhaps this is a reason why many places will not accept them – or have problems with applying two methods of “credit” to a transaction.
So, back to my first point about cashing these in for gift cards? I did try this out at Amazon with my remaining Discover balance – and sent myself an early (very early) birthday present. And, it worked. I was able to get rid of that remaining balance and now I have it applied to my Amazon account. Whew.
I hope this helps if you are in a similar predicament with your remaining balances on your cash gift cards.