Uh-oh: Some SVM gift card transactions coded as cash advance

If you’ve bought gift cards in the past few days from SVM on eBay, keep a close eye on your credit card statement: Doctor of Credit reports that some SVM gift card transactions (perhaps from 12/4 onward) were coded as cash advances – incurring an instant fee and interest with your issuer.

You do NOT want to pay a cash advance fee as if you had taken cash from an ATM

For their part, SVM is claiming that this is due to an error on PayPal’s end that switched their merchant services category, causing the transactions to appear as cash advances. One reader in the comments at Doctor of Credit shared a note from SVM that was promising a $20 PayPal credit to those customers affected, but we haven’t yet confirmed that plan. On that note, SVM claimed that the issue has been resolved and that further cash advance fees shouldn’t be incurred — though I would be wary of buying from them at least over the next few days (and perhaps in general moving forward) unless you have your cash advance limit set to $0. This is not the first time this issue has happened with SVM.

According to Doctor of Credit, this issue was reported from Visa, Amex, and Discover. Again, reports indicate that this issue affected transactions over the past couple of days (perhaps 12/4-12/5). I personally made SVM purchases on 11/28 that did not code as cash advances. However, many readers may have bought gift cards more recently — so let this be a reminder to check your statements to be sure you aren’t affected. If you are affected, I would strongly suggest sending a message to SVM on eBay (and then perhaps following up with PayPal).

Last updated on March 31st, 2019

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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David Kersten
David Kersten

Just purchased 3 x $100 Lowes Giftcards from SVM on ebay for $273 (9% discount) through PayPal with my Discover card. It is currently showing as pending, I’ll update when it posts.

David Kersten
David Kersten

Purchased 9:56 AM CST on 12/6/17
Showed up on Discover properly (not cash advance):
Purchase Method ONLINE


The question is why to use Paypal in the first place? SVM is not like PPDG that force you to use PP. You don’t get 5X using ink, (not that it matters anymore anyway).

I don’t see a clear advantage by check out SVM using Paypal.