There have been numerous reports in the past few days of issues surrounding the liquidation of Visa gift cards.
All the initial chatter seemed to revolve around Visa gift cards purchased from Simon Mall and the fact that people were having a hard time liquidating them at Kroger and Walmart. It initially seemed like those stores had hardcoded their systems against Simon cards, but that doesn’t appear to be the case after all.
Purchases at Money Services and some self checkout lines were being declined, but occasionally going through on the third or fourth swipe, while other people have been able to complete transactions without any issue whatsoever.
There have since been reports that this issue is affecting other MetaBank Visa gift cards, such as those bought from Staples during recent deals when the purchase fee was waived. The problem also seemed to affect transactions at the Albertsons/Safeway family of stores which gives even more of an indication that the problem is on MetaBank’s end as it’s unlikely that all three large chains would have simultaneously changed their policy.
That hopefully means that this is a temporary issue, but it’s something to be aware of if you’re planning on stocking up at Simon (either in-store or online), or by taking advantage of this week’s Staples deal. If these issues are ongoing and affecting your local stores, that could make it harder to liquidate them which could be an issue if you’re unable to float the money.