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Here’s How To Check A Gift Card Balance: See How Much Money Is On Your Gift Cards & How To Avoid Fees

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By Joshua

Are you trying to find out your gift card balance but not sure where to turn?

Here are some easy ways to check gift card balance before you try to use them

This has been a big problem for me — because I receive a lot of gift cards during holidays, and don’t always know how much money I have on any of them.

It’s easy to lose track when you have more than one card. (And sometimes when you have only a single card! Believe me…)

Plus, some gift card companies start charging administrative fees against the remaining balances on gift cards after a period of several months, meaning you may have an even lower balance on some gift cards than you originally thought!

here are some easy ways to check your gift card balance

So where do you find out what your gift card balances are and how long you have to spend them before the funds dry up?

Well, that depends on the kind of gift card you have.

Here’s a list of handy resources that I’ve put together from my own experience and research to help you find out how much money is left on your gift cards…


The Best Gift Card Balance Checker

Gift Card Granny is one of my favorite gift card balance websites — because it gives you access to balances on gift cards from more than 500 different stores, restaurants, and vendors. Plus you can also buy gift cards there.

Gift Card Granny is even available as an app for iOS and for Android, so it’s handy to use when you’re out and about.

If you have a gift card from a retailer that you can’t find on the Gift Card Granny site, my advice (it’s worked for me so far) is to visit Google and type in the name of the retailer and the phrase “gift card balance.”

If you have an Amazon gift card, here’s how to check the balance of an Amazon gift card.


What About Visa, MasterCard & American Express Gift Card Balances?

If you’re like me, you’ve probably given or received your share of gift cards from major bank card companies — such as Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

Well… I can save you a lot of time!

Here are the direct links to gift card balance sites for all of the major bank card companies that issue gift cards:

before you try to use it in a store you should check gift card balance remaining on your card


Are There Things You Can’t Buy With Gift Cards?

I thought you’d never ask. Actually, I’ve never had a problem using my gift cards for purchases because I usually only buy “normal” merchandise with them — like clothes, electronics, and furniture.

Having worked one time in a bill collections setting, I know that gift cards usually can’t be used to make recurring payments — such as for utilities, subscriptions, and the like. However, gift cards are often acceptable for one-time payments on those transactions.

I also read that gift card companies do not normally allow their cards to be used for naughty transactions (you get the idea), or those involving illegal drugs and substances.


How To Avoid Gift Card Fees

It’s easier than ever to get snagged with gift card fees and other hidden surcharges these days.

make sure to check your gift card balance before attempting to use it at the retailer

Some gift cards charge activation fees and transaction fees, while others assess maintenance fees only 6 or 12 months after a gift card is activated.

If you order gift cards online, they sometimes charge shipping fees that can range from $2 to $5.

Use your gift card to make an online purchase (who among us hasn’t done that?), and you might get charged a transaction fee of $3.95 or more.

The best thing you can do to avoid gift card fees is to read the terms with your specific gift card (all that small print on the back of your card or that little foldout sheet that came with your gift card).

Here are some handy money-saving tips:

  • Check your gift card balance on a regular basis — to see if any fees have been withdrawn from your account.
  • Hang onto a gift card like it’s cash — because once it’s gone, it’s gone. And companies that do replace lost gift cards (bank cards, mainly) may charge as much as $15 for a new card.
  • Spend the money on your gift card as soon as possible — wait too long and you might get charged maintenance fees.
  • Make sure there are no surcharges for online orders  if so, either eat the fee or go buy what you want at a brick-and-mortar store instead.


More About Gift Cards