Shopping Discussion

Shortage of Visa/MC Gift Cards?

  • Last Updated:
  • Feb 18th, 2021 10:48 am
[OP]
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Sep 13, 2007
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Shortage of Visa/MC Gift Cards?

I went to Loblaws, SDM and the Post Office yesterday and couldn't find a single VISA or Mastercard prepaid/gift card in any denomination. Canada Post told me they've been back ordered for some time.

Anyone else notice a shortage? Are people pandemic hoarding?
19 replies
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Jan 19, 2017
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Kfox wrote: I went to Loblaws, SDM and the Post Office yesterday and couldn't find a single VISA or Mastercard prepaid/gift card in any denomination. Canada Post told me they've been back ordered for some time.

Anyone else notice a shortage? Are people pandemic hoarding?
Have you checked out other stores or gas stations?
You can even buy it online here: https://shop.giftofchoice.ca/shoppingCart
Jr. Member
Jul 6, 2017
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Those things are a huge scam anyway. Tons of hidden fees.
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Jan 9, 2011
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DareTo wrote: Those things are a huge scam anyway. Tons of hidden fees.
RFDers tend to buy them to meet minimum spend to unlock the welcome bonus on a new credit card. I assume that's what the OP is doing. I really hope he isn't buying them to give as gifts because nobody should do that.
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Nov 25, 2004
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Kiraly wrote: RFDers tend to buy them to meet minimum spend to unlock the welcome bonus on a new credit card. I assume that's what the OP is doing. I really hope he isn't buying them to give as gifts because nobody should do that.
would it be better to just buy an amazon shoppers or some other store gift card that u shop at then at least ur not wasting 3-5 on an activation fee.
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aaron158 wrote: would it be better to just buy an amazon shoppers or some other store gift card that u shop at then at least ur not wasting 3-5 on an activation fee.
Sure, if you don't mind tying up your spending to one of those places. A Visa/MC gift card can be spent anywhere including for things that have no gift cards available (like on that big car repair), so for some it's worth paying the 2-3% fee.
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Nov 25, 2004
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Kiraly wrote: Sure, if you don't mind tying up your spending to one of those places. A Visa/MC gift card can be spent anywhere including for things that have no gift cards available (like on that big car repair), so for some it's worth paying the 2-3% fee.
i guess but at shoppers or Walmart u can get a gift card for almost anything so not like there is not a lot of choices and don't most of those min requirement things only amount to like 50 to 100 bucks so its not like its hard to spend 50 or 100 at Walmart or another place u can get a gift card with no fee for.
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aaron158 wrote: i guess but at shoppers or Walmart u can get a gift card for almost anything so not like there is not a lot of choices and don't most of those min requirement things only amount to like 50 to 100 bucks so its not like its hard to spend 50 or 100 at Walmart or another place u can get a gift card with no fee for.
Depends where you shop. The last time I bought a gift card to meet credit card MSR it was at SDM on a $200 Visa card that I paid $7 to activate, so 3.5%. There were literally no gift cards in the store for places that I knew I would shop at. So I got the Visa card and used it up in a few days. Worked for me.
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Feb 7, 2017
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aaron158 wrote: would it be better to just buy an amazon shoppers or some other store gift card that u shop at then at least ur not wasting 3-5 on an activation fee.
Not so much if you are looking to spend in the THOUSANDS

Which is what most CC Churners are doing ... they want to put the money into something they truly can use anywhere anytime vs sitting on say a pile of GCs in the $ 50 or $ 100 amount for a bunch of stores they dont truly know when they’ll shop at next ... or get to spend the total anytime soon (say $ 1000 in Grocery Store GCs)

By buying Visa or MasterCard GC, they have the ability to spend the money on it pretty much anywhere for anything

And when it comes to the GC carrying cost ... it’s chump change vs the perks earned at the other end for making those qualifying purchases

Example ... Airmiles Reserve Card, needs a $ 3000 spend in 3 months to earn back 2400 Bonus AirMiles
2400 Airmiles is $ 250+ (Never mind all the other perks that come with that particular CC ... like Airport Lounge Access / Travel Insurances / Flex Fly / or Annual Companion Flights)
All in the new card holder could easily be seeing a return of $ 500 to $ 1000 annually
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Aug 8, 2006
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I don't know if other stores are having the same issue.
But the store I work at, we've had multiple issues with people buying cards and them getting completely drained within hours.

We also checked for heat-resealer machine tampering on the plastic and there was absolutely none evident on the ones sold. We don't know if there is some sort of data breach going on at the credit card companies. How would one know a card was activated within hours, not even a day? Is someone running a script to check these cards? We pulled them off the shelf indefinitely for the time being to protect our customers.

Interesting that you can't find any of them at other stores. It makes me wonder if they pulled the cards for the same reason.
Last edited by wilson_wu on Feb 16th, 2021 4:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Sep 5, 2003
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Kfox wrote: I went to Loblaws, SDM and the Post Office yesterday and couldn't find a single VISA or Mastercard prepaid/gift card in any denomination. Canada Post told me they've been back ordered for some time.

Anyone else notice a shortage? Are people pandemic hoarding?
Do you intend on gifting a Visa or Mastercard? There are prepaid bank cards you can sign up for that work the same for personal use without the fees so the retail cards are primarily being sold online due to low demand.
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Jan 19, 2017
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mlerner wrote: Do you intend on gifting a Visa or Mastercard? There are prepaid bank cards you can sign up for that work the same for personal use without the fees so the retail cards are primarily being sold online due to low demand.
Just in case you don't know that 99% of people on RFD are looking for ways to buy prepaid gcs using a real credit card.
[OP]
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DareTo wrote: Those things are a huge scam anyway. Tons of hidden fees.
I'm talking VISA prepaid, not the reloadable type. For the ones sold at Post Office the fees are $3.95 for values of $25-$49.99, $4.95 for 50-$99.99, $5.95 for $100-$149.99 and $6.95 for $150-$500. ZERO usage fees thereafter. I buy the $500 cards ($6.95 fee = 1.4%) and use them for all online purchases, so I'm safe from retailer hacks
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Aug 18, 2005
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Kfox wrote: I went to Loblaws, SDM and the Post Office yesterday and couldn't find a single VISA or Mastercard prepaid/gift card in any denomination. Canada Post told me they've been back ordered for some time.

Anyone else notice a shortage? Are people pandemic hoarding?
Is it possible that stores are keeping these behind the counter because of those Indian scam call centres?
Confused shoppers would have to interact with someone in order to get the GCs, which allows store representatives to help prevent scams.

Alternatively, they could be protecting the cards from those scammers who somehow get the information from the cards, and then replace them on the shelf and wait for an unsuspecting shopping to activate them.
What if there were no hypothetical questions?
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Feb 10, 2013
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Visa /Mastercard giftcards are available at customer service. Where they were previously has been replaced by other gift cards.
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Jan 19, 2017
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Kfox wrote: I'm talking VISA prepaid, not the reloadable type. For the ones sold at Post Office the fees are $3.95 for values of $25-$49.99, $4.95 for 50-$99.99, $5.95 for $100-$149.99 and $6.95 for $150-$500. ZERO usage fees thereafter. I buy the $500 cards ($6.95 fee = 1.4%) and use them for all online purchases, so I'm safe from retailer hacks
Buy your card with cash or debit only at Canada Post. Just in case you don't know that 99% of people on RFD are looking for ways to buy prepaid gcs using a real credit card.
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May 23, 2014
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aaron158 wrote: would it be better to just buy an amazon shoppers or some other store gift card that u shop at then at least ur not wasting 3-5 on an activation fee.
lol do you spend $4-$20k @ Amazon a year? Cause I don’t and money would be locked up. Lol. Think

Prepaid visa is like cash
Last edited by DroNBA on Feb 18th, 2021 3:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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May 23, 2014
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PointsHubby wrote: Not so much if you are looking to spend in the THOUSANDS

Which is what most CC Churners are doing ... they want to put the money into something they truly can use anywhere anytime vs sitting on say a pile of GCs in the $ 50 or $ 100 amount for a bunch of stores they dont truly know when they’ll shop at next ... or get to spend the total anytime soon (say $ 1000 in Grocery Store GCs)

By buying Visa or MasterCard GC, they have the ability to spend the money on it pretty much anywhere for anything

And when it comes to the GC carrying cost ... it’s chump change vs the perks earned at the other end for making those qualifying purchases

Example ... Airmiles Reserve Card, needs a $ 3000 spend in 3 months to earn back 2400 Bonus AirMiles
2400 Airmiles is $ 250+ (Never mind all the other perks that come with that particular CC ... like Airport Lounge Access / Travel Insurances / Flex Fly / or Annual Companion Flights)
All in the new card holder could easily be seeing a return of $ 500 to $ 1000 annually

We are talking 20-30k prepaid visas easyyyyy per year
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
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aaron158 wrote:
would it be better to just buy an amazon shoppers or some other store gift card that u shop at then at least ur not wasting 3-5 on an activation fee.
DroNBA wrote:
lol do you spend $4-$20k @ Amazon a year? Cause I don’t and money would be locked up. Lol. Think

Prepaid visa is like cash
DroNBA wrote: We are talking 20-30k prepaid visas easyyyyy per year
Not sure WHY you chose to quote me in your Reply # 18

I GET IT ... My Reply # 9 lays that out
(Where I too laid it out for @aaron158 )

Just one CC (in my example) and it’s $ 3000

CC Churners go thru multiples of those amounts annually

It seems it’s others in this thread that aren’t comprehending THE EXTENT of that cash flow and what’s required to manage it in a way to keep it lucrative / accessible
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Kfox wrote: I'm talking VISA prepaid, not the reloadable type. For the ones sold at Post Office the fees are $3.95 for values of $25-$49.99, $4.95 for 50-$99.99, $5.95 for $100-$149.99 and $6.95 for $150-$500. ZERO usage fees thereafter. I buy the $500 cards ($6.95 fee = 1.4%) and use them for all online purchases, so I'm safe from retailer hacks
Oh man. That's a lot of fees just for making online purchases. If that's all you are doing, you should get one of the free reloadable prepaids like Koho, Mogo, or Stack. You can load them up by Interac e-transfer and use them online. No fees. Or at least get a reloadable PayPower card. The fees are higher but you can reload them with a credit card at the supermarket. Load them with the right card and the points you earn will pay for all of the fees and then some.

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