Beginner’s guide to buying & liquidating Visa & Mastercard gift cards

Updated: 1/6/2016

In April of 2013 a change in the law resulted in many Visa and Mastercard gift cards becoming pin-enabled. While these cards do not allow ATM withdrawals, they otherwise generally work as debit cards in most transactions.

There are a variety of pin-enabled Visa & Mastercard gift cards on the market. This guide will cover the most common and show you how to find or set the pin and which stores carry which types of cards.

For more information on Bluebird, Serve, see: The complete guide to Bluebird, REDcard, and Serve

Jump to: U.S. Bank, Metabank, Incomm (Vanilla), Sunrise BankGiftCards.com

U.S. Bank

visa gift card pins

Where to purchase: Most grocery stores.

How to set the pin: Sometimes the pin comes in the package. If it doesn’t, call 1-866-952-5653 to set the pin via the telephone.

Example uses: 

  • Load to Bluebird/Serve at Walmart
  • Load to Serve at Family Dollar, Dollar General & Rite Aid.

Mastercard Trick:

When trying to load a U.S. Bank Mastercard to Bluebird/Serve at a Walmart register, you must hit the red cancel button almost immediately after swiping so you can change the payment type to “debit” or the load will fail. These Mastercards load normally at Walmart MoneyCenter Express kiosks.

Metabank

visa gift card pins
Metabank Visas in the old (yellow) and new (purple) packaging.

Where to purchase: Staples, Staples.com (affiliate link), Officemax, GiftCardMall.com, Staples.com, Simon Malls, Macerich Malls.

How to set the pin: The pin is automatically set as the last four digits of the card number. The pin can be changed by calling the number on the back of the card or going to GoWallet.com.

Example uses:

  • Load to Bluebird/Serve at Walmart
  • Load to Serve at Family Dollar, Dollar General & Rite Aid.

Incomm (Vanilla)

visa gift card pins

Where to purchase: Walgreens, CVS, Toys R Us, Office Depot

How to set the pin: The pin is set when you first use the card. When paying, simply enter any four digit pin number and that becomes the pin number for the card.

Example uses:

  • Load to Serve at Family Dollar, Dollar General & Rite Aid.

Note: In general, these cards do not work at Walmart, although some people have had success liquidating them at Walmart when loading in denominations of $50 or less.

Sunrise Bank

visa gift card pins
Looks very similar to Metabank packaging.

Where to purchase: Walmart, Sears

How to set the pin: The pin is automatically set as the last four digits of the card number. The pin can be changed by calling the number on the back of the card or going to GoWallet.com.

Example uses:

  • Load to Bluebird/Serve at Walmart
  • Load to Serve at Family Dollar, Dollar General & Rite Aid.

Note: Cards issued by Sunrise bank often come in a very similar looking package to cards issued by Metabank. The pin and liquidation process is the same for cards issued by both banks.

GiftCards.com

visa gift card pins

Where to purchase: GiftCards.com (This is an affiliate link. I will earn a small commission if you use this link)

How to set the pin: These cards are activated online. Upon activation you will be given a pin. The pin can be changed manually on the website if you prefer to set your own. You can find detailed instructions for activation and changing the pin here.

Example uses:

  • Load to Bluebird/Serve at Walmart
  • Load to Serve at Family Dollar, Dollar General & Rite Aid.

Note: These cards are issued by Incomm, but unlike Vanilla and other Incomm issued cards, they have been known to work at Walmart without issue.

Jump to: U.S. Bank, Metabank, Incomm (Vanilla), Sunrise BankGiftCards.com

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