I have talked many times about how awesome Amazon Payments is to “spend money” for free.
At a minimum, you should be able to “spend” $1,000 a month on your Credit Card and earn 12,000 Miles a year for free.
If you have other Family Members & Friends involved, you can easily “spend” $5,000 a month.
While Amazon Payments is useful to hit Minimum Spend Requirements, I recently figured out it is also useful to clear off the remaining few dollars on Gift Cards & Prepaid Cards.
For anyone that has bought or received Vanilla Prepaid Cards or Visa Gift Cards, when you reach the final few dollars, it become really difficult to spend it.
This is because if you use Prepaid Cards for Dining, the cash register “pre-authorizes” the Card with an additional charge for the tip. So if your Prepaid Card has $25 on it, and you spend $20 on Dinner, many times it won’t go through because it pre-authorizes an amount over $25.
There are ways around this when you are out, like asking to charge $25 on your Prepaid Card, and then the rest on your Credit Card, etc but that is kind of a hassle.
In buying Vanilla Prepaid Cards to earn 5x, I have a stack of them with $1 - $6 each left.
While that doesn’t sound like a much, when you add them up, it is around $20.
When Frequent Miler originally posted his One Card To Rule Them All last May (yes it has been that long already!), my Friend and I got in on it and we tried to liqiduate those Vanilla Prepaid Cards via Amazon.
Unfortunately it kept giving us an error, so we thought Amazon knew it was a Prepaid Card and that was why it was being blocked. Turns out we were wrong!
Amazon was just “pre-authorizing” it, so when we tried to move $500 at a time, it probably “pre-authorized” the Card for $500+, hence why we got the error.
Through some trial and error I figured out there is an easy way to override Amazon’s “pre-authorization” and liquidate Prepaid Cards for free!
1. Check Your Prepaid Card Balance
For this example I will use a OneVanilla Prepaid Visa Card, but the steps are applicable to any Prepaid Card.
The first thing you need to do is check the balance of your Prepaid Card.
To do this, look on the back of your Prepaid Card. Normally there is a website you can check or a phone number you can call.
In my case, the website is OneVanilla.com.
Once you go to the website, enter the details of your Card.
My OneVanilla Prepaid Card had a whopping $1.71 left on it.
2. Enter Your Card On Amazon Payments
After you have your Card Balance, head over to Amazon Payments and log-in.
Once you are logged in, click on Your Account, then Edit My Account Settings, and then Add, Edit, or Delete My Credit Cards.
Click on Add New Card
Go ahead and enter your Card information here. I use my real information, but it doesn’t really matter because it isn’t actually tied to your Prepaid Card.
2 IMPORTANT THINGS:
1. Put in the WRONG expiration year. If the expiration is 2021, then put in anything else. This is extremely important or it won’t work properly.
2. Make sure the Zip Code matches what you have on your Prepaid Card’s Website. OneVanilla makes you enter a Zip Code on their site if you want to use the Card for Online Purchases, so make sure the Zip Codes you enter match, or again it won’t work.
After you do all that, scroll to the bottom and hit Add Card.
Your Prepaid Card will now show up in your Credit Card section.
Since we entered the Credit Card Expiration Date wrong in the step above, we now have to go in and fix it, so click on Edit.
Go ahead and change your Expiration Date to the correct Year and hit Update.
Now your Card is properly loaded onto Amazon Payments and will work.
To liquidate the Card, go to Send Money tab and fill out all the information.
I had $1.71 left on my Card, so I entered $1.71 to finish off the Card.
I also always write some sort of memo at the bottom but you don’t have to.
On the next page select your new Prepaid Card that you loaded, and hit Continue and then Confirm the transaction on the next page.
After you hit Confirm, you will see the below page.
It typically takes a few minutes for the Card to process, so I typically just go do something else in the meantime.
If the Payment goes through, then you will receive the below email.
If the Payment failed, then you will receive another email indicating so.
Typically failed Payments have to either do with the Zip Code or the Expiration being wrong, so go back and double check those.
Obviously you can use this with the $500 OneVanilla Prepaid Cards if you can still find them at Office Supply stores, but as always use caution.
Also if you have like 20 Prepaid Cards that you need to liquidate, I’d suggest spreading them out over a few months. This is only because Amazon obviously has sophisticated Fraud Monitoring Systems and will pick up if you are sending the same person really really small amounts of money. Even if that isn’t per say illegal, it is better to be on the safe side.
Hopefully this little trick will help people finish off their Prepaid Cards!
Let me know if you have any questions!
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