3v prepaid visa gift card voucher RIPOFF - hidden fees, early expiry

edited 20 July 2014 at 1:48AM in Praise, vent & warnings
37 replies 41.8K views
13

Replies

  • mrbobsymrbobsy Forumite
    83 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    If you get one of these cards as a present (I did) I suggest doing what I did.

    Go to highstreetvouchers.com and purchase gift vouchers with it, you now have a long lasting voucher which you can use on the high street, nearly as good as cash and no fees. Also an easy way to use the exact balance.

    Cheers for that advice, I bought £50 worth of 3V from Morrisons (for the money off fuel) and then discovered all the lovely fees that they would incur.
  • steve2005steve2005 Forumite
    252 Posts
    mrbobsy wrote: »
    Cheers for that advice, I bought £50 worth of 3V from Morrisons (for the money off fuel) and then discovered all the lovely fees that they would incur.

    Not sure what fees you're referring to. Unless you're buying the card and not using them for almost a year.
    I've never incurred any fees in using any 3V cards, and I've spent literally thousands on them. Morrisons were especially handy as I've not paid a penny for petrol for at least 6 months now.
    Mortgage free for 5 months :T Then got another mortgage:rotfl:
  • SeekerSeeker Forumite
    31 Posts
    I have an experience with these cards that I wish to share, so that hopefully others will not fall into this trap.

    Firstly, you don't pay any fee if you activate and use the card within 9 months of them being purchased.

    I was given 10 x £25 cards as a leaving present from work last September. With moving house and jobs using the cards wasn't a high priority, but I did check and consciously noted that they expired after 12 months. So now, 11 months later I decided that I had better get them spent.

    When you open the account there is a reasonable security process to activate the cards, but after that is when I came across the pitfalls. After 9 months there is a £2 per month account maintenance fee. As this is now month 11 I have paid £4 per card, so each one is only worth £21 each. My fault for not checking and I will take that on the chin.

    It is the next bit that really riles me. Each time you activate a card you are provided with a 16 digit visa card number, expiry date and security code, just like a regular credit card. But, each gift card generates a separate visa card number with the value of that gift card on it (normally £25 but in my current case £21). Now I want to buy something valued at over £100 but obviously on-line retailers only allow you to pay with one credit card not 5. So to transfer funds from other cards onto another costs £1.75 per transaction, meaning that each card is worth £1.75 less. In my case, each £25 card is now worth only £19.25! Even if I had activated them all right at the start, to buy anything more than £25 I would need to transfer the amount onto another card at £1.75 per time. So even the most prompt activation would have cost me £15.75 to transfer 9 balances onto 1 main card, meaning that the original £250 gift would only be worth £234.25! A complete and utter rip off. This should be made clear to people who buy these cards as gifts and to the recipients.

    I am looking to do what someone mentioned earlier and just buy High Street gift vouchers and get £210 worth, though the amount of retailers that do £1 vouchers is limited. Plus I have wasted hours finding something that I wanted to buy for £250 on-line when I now will have to go to a High Street retailer to spend the vouchers to make sure that I get as much value from these as I can.

    Rant over
  • These things are fine as far as they go, sure the fees are expensive but they do tell you about them all up front and there is nothing hidden. I find them very useful for online purchases because they are the only kind of pseudo-card that actually works like a real one.

    I have tried to apply for I think pretty well every PAYG debit card that exists, but without success - the application seems to go through just fine but then a couple of days later I get an email telling me it's been blocked and they want ID, even on deals that specifically state they do not need ID. Since I don't have any ID they are all useless. 3V vouchers (I don't use the cards) are the exception. Therefore I just bite the bullet on the fees and use 3V vouchers.

    The difficulty with 3V is actually buying the things. Nobody in the shop has ever heard of them and their initial reaction is to say they don't do them. I have to explain at great length that 3V vouchers are available on Paypoint and persuade them to poke through a bunch of obscure menu options on their Paypoint machine until they find it. Often this involves getting them to call someone more senior to explain what to do.

    It is difficult even to tell them what I want because of the stupid name. I have to repeat "3V" several times with exaggeratedly clear enunciation before they get the message. To begin with they don't pick up what it is because it isn't easily recognised due to not being a proper word - if it was called "TripleVisa" or something it would be a lot easier to communicate the name - and then they get it mixed up with the equally-stupidly-named "3" mobile phone vouchers which they do sell a lot of.

    But the most infuriating thing is that it appears that if you buy "too many" vouchers the shop gets blocked from selling them altogether; the Paypoint machine starts to reject the transaction for no reason. Currently I am trying to buy the components for a new and powerful PC from Amazon. For this I need three £150 3V vouchers to pay for the whole set. I bought the first one without any problem. The next day I tried to buy the second, but it was rejected by Paypoint and I had to wait until the day after before it worked. The third one I have not been able to buy at all - I have been trying for several days but the Paypoint machine refuses it every time.

    The result is that I have been able to order the processor, motherboard, hard drives, and graphics card for the new system, but I cannot buy the memory or the case because purchasing 3V vouchers in the local shops has ceased to be possible.

    I have emailed both 3V and Paypoint about this but so far have had no reply. It is thoroughly infuriating.
  • 3vcards are brilliant. I buy £1000-£1200 over a few days before I'm about to fill up so I only pay a few pence per litre at morrisons, transfer cash back to my account via a couple of free methods I discovered and then rinse and repeat.

    Only problem is some other git in Derby has started doing same thing so there were only 8 cards left at my local this evening!
  • jaydeeuk1 wrote: »
    3vcards are brilliant. I buy £1000-£1200 over a few days before I'm about to fill up so I only pay a few pence per litre at morrisons, transfer cash back to my account via a couple of free methods I discovered and then rinse and repeat.

    Only problem is some other git in Derby has started doing same thing so there were only 8 cards left at my local this evening!

    I don't suppose you wish to reveal your methods as this sounds like a good idea.
  • I was thinking of writing a guide at xmas on how to get paid to fill up your car. Will be putting it on hotukdeals.
  • jaydeeuk1 wrote: »
    I was thinking of writing a guide at xmas on how to get paid to fill up your car. Will be putting it on hotukdeals.

    I'd advise against it. There are too many mercenaries who take, take, take and give little back on there, not to mention a strong contingent of, for want of a better phrase, isis sympathisers.

    Headforpoints is a better "site", and the owner is very amenable to posting such things of interest on your behalf. There's a stronger sense of community, and people tend to help each other out there.
  • jaydeeuk1 wrote: »
    3vcards are brilliant. I buy £1000-£1200 over a few days before I'm about to fill up so I only pay a few pence per litre at morrisons, transfer cash back to my account via a couple of free methods I discovered and then rinse and repeat.

    Only problem is some other git in Derby has started doing same thing so there were only 8 cards left at my local this evening!

    Funny, I was thinking of doing something similar to this when I stumbled across this thread. I would be very interested to know what method you have come up with in order to get the cash back into a bank account?

    I have been racking my brains for the past two days trying to figure out an easy and cost effective way of doing this, unfortunately so far without success :mad:

    Paypal is a non starter, linking the cards together before transferring the balance from 3v to your account costs as much as you would save in discounted fuel and if you tried to do a balance transfer to another credit card with so many cards the credit card company would be rightfully suspicious causing a red flag and a lot of awkward questions!!!

    I really am stumped on this, if you have found a workable and cost effective way of doing this then BRAVO :T Furthermore if you would be so kind as to share it with me then I would be eternally grateful :j :rotfl: :j :rotfl: :j
  • jaydeeuk1 wrote: »
    3vcards are brilliant. I buy £1000-£1200 over a few days before I'm about to fill up so I only pay a few pence per litre at morrisons, transfer cash back to my account via a couple of free methods I discovered and then rinse and repeat.

    Like you and others on here, I'm a fan of 3V cards, but I struggle to find a good method of turning them into cash. You say that you have a free method for this. If you would care to give me a clue, then I would be most grateful - I'm thinking maybe gambling/betting sites?

    I also have a few other ideas that I'm sure you'd find interesting and perhaps profitable. If we can collaborate on this for our mutual benefit, then that would be fantastic! I look forward to hearing from you, by PM if you like - together with other contact details (I see that you don't accept PM from me).

    Thanks.
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