questionswhy won't visa gift cards work on woot?


From the FAQ:
What payment options do I have?
You can pay for your orders using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or Paypal accounts that are tied to a credit card. (Our fast-paced, annoying business model doesn't leave time to wait for your bank to confirm your account balance.) We do not accept checks, money orders, uncut gemstones, or broken promises.


Well in that case, why don't you just fund your Paypal account with the Visa, and then use it to pay?


I guess I'm kinda dumb on this one, but what is the difference between a Visa gift card and a Visa credit/debit card?


@jsimsace: Not sure in this particular case but most Visa gift cards will not have the person's name on it nor will it have a billing address attached. Most retailers want a billing address and name attached.


I was under the impression that Visa gift cards were treated like debit cards, at least thats what all the gift cards I've gotten said. I've used Visa gift cards for plenty of online orders.


@hackman2007: I get what you're saying, but I still don't understand why a gift card can't be processed w/o a name/etc. If the numbers entered by the buyer clear the processing stage then why would woot care? As far as I know $10 from a Visa credit card actually will cost woot more to process than $10 from a gift card.

tl;dr It just doesn't make sense in my weary brain. Thanks for your opinion. :)


@jsimsace and @miyoshinum5: A debit card ["check card"] doesn't have any money assigned to it; the card itself is worthless. It's really just a conduit to allow access to money you have in a savings or checking account.

A regular gift card (or a reloadable card), on the other hand, does have value and is generally not tied to a checking or savings account in any way. You don't even have to have an account at a financial institution to have one. The Visa or Mastercard computers "know" how much money was assigned [loaded onto] the card when it was first purchased or when it was last reloaded, and the computers keep track of how much you've spent and what the remaining balance is.

I suspect that some merchants will not accept a gift card for a telephone or web-based purchase for that very reason: they're not tied to any verifiable address or person. Either card should be acceptable in person at any merchant that accepts any other Visa/Mastercard branded card.


Credit cards are an entirely different type of "banking product" and are issued based on your overall credit worthiness and whatever other guidelines your financial institution requires.

If you're actually asking what difference there is to a merchant in accepting one kind of card but not the other, it's disingenous to claim it's because of the speed or slowness of the approval process. It's the same process no matter which type of card is used, and it takes only a split second for the merchant to obtain an approval or decline from Visa.


@magic cave: You know what, now that you mention it I think I did have to register the card online to use it for online purchases. Although I could be remembering wrong


Billing address verification in a common anti-fraud step when accepting credit cards online. It's almost impossible for a merchant to win a chargeback case if they don't verify the address. So if a dubious customer could use a visa gift card to make an online purchase, they could dispute the charge after receiving the merchandise, and then get the money back on the card by claiming they didn't authorize the charge. Not that any of us would do that, but you gotta watch out for the bad apples out there.


@djp519: Thank you for finally making it click in my brain. I understand it now. Internet fraud is easier to commit with a gift card than a credit/debit card because of the address verification process that I wasn't aware of. :)