One of the most popular places to purchase pin-enabled Visa gift cards is Simon Malls. They sell variable load $500 cards for $3.95 each. Unfortunately it seems that some people have been charged cash advance fees for purchasing these cards lately. It is possible that Simon has changed the way they code these transactions.
Two different readers have written in reporting that they have been charged cash advance fees for purchases at Simon Malls. Both readers specifically mentioned being charged fees after using a Barclaycard Arrival Plus. It isn’t clear at this time if all banks are charging these fees or if the problem is only with Barclaycard. There was a situation about a year ago where only some banks charged fees at Simon. That eventually cleared itself up.
How to Prevent an Issue
If you are going to purchase Visa gift cards from Simon Malls, then it is probably wise to lower your cash advance limit to $0. Doing this will prevent any purchase from going through if it is coded as a cash advance. I think this is generally a good practice anyway, especially if you regularly purchase cash equivalents.
Have you received cash advance fees after purchasing gift cards at Simon Malls? If so, which card did you use? Feel free to share your data points in the comments.