Saturday, April 27, 2013

Chase Prepaid Visa gift cards with fees waived for a limited time

I know I am really behind on jumping on this deal.  I first read about Chase Prepaid Visa gift cards with fees waived from the The Points Guy.  I waited a while because I was waiting to hear reports on whether these gift cards could act as true debit PIN cards.  
I wanted to read about other user experience with transferring the money balance to their Bluebird account, or to paying for a Money Order without issue.  I also wanted to make sure that buying these Chase gift cards with my credit card did not charge a “cash advance” for making the purchase.

Reports then starting coming in from users achieving success with: 1) no cash advance and 2) easily activating a PIN code as well as 3) easily transferring the funds to their Bluebird account or to purchase a Money Order.  I decided that was enough info for me to get in on this opportunity. 

Last week I went to and purchased two $500 gift cards.  The reason I purchased only 2 was because this was the amount I would feel comfortable leaving tied up into a gift card in the event that I could not liquidate the funds easily. 
A few days later I checked my Chase credit card statement online and saw that Chase classified this gift card purchase as a normal transaction:

It took a few days to receive the gift cards and I finally received them last night! 
My wife and I then went to the local Walmart and loaded each card into my wife’s Bluebird account as a debit card transaction.  I used her account since I already maxed out the $5,000 monthly load limit on my account.  

The whole process was surprisingly easy and we just made another quick 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points, which can be valued at up to 2 cents per point.  

Now if you want to convert these 1,000 UR points directly into cash, it would be $10.  I'm sure you know by now, points converted to airfare or hotel stays can be worth much more than just cash.   

The consensus with these Chase prepaid gift cards seems to be:

1.  You must use a Chase credit card to make the purchase
2.  You can purchase up to 5 cards at a maximum value of $500 each
3.  There is no cash advance fee
4.  Card takes 5-7 days to arrive, each arriving separately in its own envelope
5.  There is a default PIN code already set up, which you can change
6.  No one knows when the purchasing fees will be waived, except that Chase says it is “temporary”
7.  Chase gift cards cannot be sold online to residents of AR, CT, HI, ME, NH, NJ, RI, VT.  Sorry folks
8.  SSN is required when purchasing these gift cards

These Chase gift cards are a great way to quickly rack up a few thousand points.  They can be used just like a regular credit card to buy everyday items.   They also make great gifts.  I believe gifting a prepaid card is better than cash since it’s easier to keep track of your spending and doesn’t make your fingers feel kinda gross after touching physical money. 

I'm off to order some more Chase gift cards to load my Bluebird account for the month of May.

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