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Save every last penny on your prepaid gift cards
Submitted by a LOZO expert
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Prepaid gift cards and one-time use credit cards are becoming increasingly common as payouts for mail-in rebates and other promotional offers. They are often used in incentive programs for new cell phones (e.g., "$100 mail-in rebate via Visa Check Card"), other electronics and more.
Unlike traditional prepaid cards which you can purchase directly from a bank, these cards come with lots of frustrating restrictions. For example, they typically have an expiration date after which the card is either no longer usable, or starts to deduct monthly maintenance fees until your balance is gone.
Even if you are diligent about using your card before it expires, you may still run into one of the trickiest restrictions of all. You can't reload the cards, so you have to use up the balance EXACTLY in order to get the full value of the card. But this usually means trying to split transactions across two cards (this one and another) in uneven amounts which can be problematic (or impossible) for many merchants. For example, if you have a $6.24 balance on your prepaid card and want to make a $10 purchase, you'll have to try to split the bill into a $6.24 charge (pay by prepaid card) and a $3.76 charge (pay by another card).
Needless to say this is a hassle that most people don't want, so part of the card goes to waste. That's exactly what these companies are hoping for. Here's the LOZO: you can turn the tables on this tactic with a little help from Amazon.com.
Unlike other retailers who offer gift cards for sale in traditional $ increments (e.g., $25, $50, $100), Amazon is happy to take whatever you'd like to spend on a gift certificate, right down to the penny. Here's how to do it:
Not only to you use up your prepaid card in full, but the Amazon.com credit will never expire! Take that, rebate company!
Got any other great tips? Let us know!