View Full Version : Gift Cards

Jeff Root
2015-Apr-01, 07:28 PM
I'm told that I can purchase a particular service with a
credit or debit card or a gift card. The card reader takes
cards with magnetic stripes, similar to the card readers
in gas pumps. I want to use an "open loop" type gift
card that Wikipedia says can be used the same way as
general-purpose credit and debit cards, not restricted to
a particular vendor like, say, a Target store card. But I
know nothing at all about such cards. I've never seen
one and the service provider doesn't have any info.

Where can I get such an "open loop" card?
How does it work?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

2015-Apr-01, 07:50 PM
American Express, Visa and Mastercard all offer general-purpose gift cards. Typically you can buy them at larger grocery stores, Walmart, etc. They can be refilled. Be aware of fees when buying the card (i.e. Read the fine print.)

Jeff Root
2015-Apr-01, 08:35 PM
That may be all I need to know. I looked at a big rack of gift
cards in my grocery store but didn't see any that appeared to
be general-purpose "open loop" type. Can you describe how
they are "refilled"? I take it back to the store or a similar
store, pay the store, the store transfers the money to the
card issuer, and the card issuer increases the value of the
card's account?

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

2015-Apr-01, 08:54 PM
Call the 800 number on the back of the card or visit the card's web site. Example below.