Start by looking at the back of your gift card. Typically, you’ll find a toll-free number you can call to discover your balance. Or you can check your balance by visiting the card issuer’s site and entering your card’s 16-digit number and security code.
Getting started with Visa Gift cards
How to activate your gift card
Many Visa Gift cards are activated upon purchase and ready to use. However, if yours requires activation, you’ll typically see a sticker with instructions and a toll-free phone number.
Places to use your gift card
You can use your gift card anywhere Visa is accepted: at the supermarket, the gas station, and even at your favourite online stores.
Making returns with a gift card
Even if there’s no balance left, you’ll want to hold onto your Visa Gift card. If you ever need to make a return, you’ll need to show the card.
FAQ about Visa Gift cards
Report a lost or stolen card immediately to the card issuer by calling the toll-free number listed on the issuer’s website or in the card documentation.
You’ll need to provide the lost or stolen Visa Gift card number for cancellation and replacement.
Registering your card is always a good idea. Some card issuers will replace a gift card only if it’s actually been registered.
Check to make sure there are sufficient funds on the card before making a purchase.
If your purchase is declined and you believe the card has sufficient funds, please contact the card issuer at the toll-free number listed on the back of the card.
When gifting a card, remember to give the recipient all the materials you received with the card at the time of purchase. These materials should include the issuer's terms and conditions for use. If gifting to kids or teens, review the materials together.
The issuers determine the maximum amount of money a Visa Gift card can hold.
If you’re planning to return anything you purchased with the card, you’ll still need the actual card. So holding onto your gift card for a period of time is a good idea.
You’ll need your Visa Gift card, of course. The merchant will handle the return like any other Visa transaction and may put the funds back onto your card.
If your gift card states "Valid only in Canada" on the front, your issuer has issued a Domestic Use Only card. Although your gift card will not be accepted at locations outside of Canada, it's welcome at millions of locations within Canada, wherever Visa cards are accepted.
If your gift card states “Electronic Use Only” on the front, your card must be swiped through an electronic terminal at a retail store in order to complete a purchase transaction. The card cannot be used at merchants who use manual imprint machines since there are no raised letters on the card.
Keep your Visa card handy and then, in the appropriate online form, fill in the 16-digit card number, expiration date, and CVV number. Making a purchase over the phone? You’ll likely need the same three pieces of information.
You sure can—but there may additional steps. At gas stations, you should be able to pay at the pump. If your transaction can’t be completed, you’ll need to use your card inside the station.
Hotels and car rentals often require a credit card and that’ll mean that they have to put a “hold” on your card—so part of the balance of your gift card may not be available. And, for tipping, the merchant or issuer may decide to authorize your transaction for an additional 20% above your total bill. The amount of your tip is still your choice though.
Yes. It’s just the same as paying with your debit card. You’ll just want to make sure your gift card is already activated.
No. A Visa Gift card can’t be reloaded with additional funds. If you’re interested in a Visa card that can be reloaded, visit the Visa Prepaid card page.
Get a new Visa Gift card
Convenient. Secure. Accepted all over. A Visa Gift card is an easy way to give someone a present.