I get Mastercard and Visa gift cards at least two times every year: for my birthday and for the holidays.
They’re a great gift. I love being able to get myself exactly what I want. But I don’t always like using a separate gift card during checkout. I never remember how much balance remains on the cards anyways!
If you’re like me and want to know how to transfer a Mastercard gift card to your bank account, here is how to do it:
There is no way to transfer a Mastercard gift card directly to your bank account, but it’s possible to transfer it to Paypal first and then to your bank account. Other options are to sell your gift cards online or at a kiosk and then put cash into a bank account.
So, once the balance is in your PayPal account, you can use it to transact wherever your gift card and Paypal are accepted.
A lot of other sources online claim that you can also add your gift card to other fintech sites, like Cash App and Venmo. I tried them both myself, you can’t.
Neither Venmo or Cash App support gift cards.
When you try to add your card as a funding source, you’ll get a pop-up on your screen letting you know that Cash App doesn’t support the card type, and Venmo doesn’t support the ZIP code, on their respective apps.
While not all fintech apps can help, there are websites that will buy your gift cards and transfer the funds to your account.
This only works for gift cards attached to retailers, like Target or Walgreens. If you have a gift card to a store, sites like cardcash.com can give you a cash offer for them.
They can pay you through an ACH deposit, sending the funds straight to your account, or through a check. They also offer Paypal Express payments for your gift cards.
The last way to transfer your Mastercard gift card to your bank account is by cashing it out at a gift card exchange kiosk.
Not all kiosks have this capability, but the ones that do can scan the balance on the gift card you want to sell and give you an offer.
How to Add a Mastercard Gift Card to Your Paypal Wallet
One of the easiest ways to get the full balance off of your Mastercard gift card and into your bank account is through your Paypal wallet.
I went down to my local Target and bought a Mastercard gift card to try this very method.
The gift card came with a steep $4 fee, taking my total to $29 for a $25 gift card.
Luckily, there’s no fee to transfer a gift card to your Paypal account so you get 100% of the value.
It took me less than two minutes to transfer the funds over.
To add your Mastercard gift card to your Paypal wallet, you can start by following this handy list I’ve broken down for you:
- Open Paypal: To add a Mastercard gift card to your Paypal account you’ll have to open the Paypal app.
- Head to the Wallet section: There are five tabs you can click on the Paypal app that will take you to different parts of the app. The Wallet tab is the fifth of the tabs towards the bottom of the screen.
- Click Add Banks and Cards: The Wallet tab allows you to add new means of funding your account through the “Add Banks and Cards” button towards the top of the screen.
- Click Debit and Credit Cards: Paypal will treat your prepaid gift card as a debit card, allowing you to add it to your account. Click “Debit and Credit Cards” when it appears on the screen.
- Link Your Card: Enter your card’s information into Paypal manually. When you enter your card information manually, Paypal will still give you the ability to scan your card. Paypal will ask for permission to use your camera, scanning the front of your card to obtain its numbers and expiration date. It will ask you to enter the security code yourself.
- Find your card: Unfortunately, Paypal can’t transfer the balance from your gift card to your account. They can add your prepaid card to your wallet though, allowing you to use the card whenever you’re at checkout with Paypal.
It’s not easy to transfer cash from a gift card to your bank account once you buy it.
If you use Paypal to purchase items though, it may be a good idea to add the card to your wallet where you can use it at checkout for free.
How to Sell Your Gift Card Online
Selling your gift cards online has quickly become a reliable way to get cash quickly for them.
Sites like cardcash.com and giftcash.com are used by customers looking to exchange their plastic rectangles for some cold hard cash.
They won’t give you the full value of your card, as they too are trying to make money off of the deal.
When I went online for this article to check out some of the exchange rates, they weren’t too bad.
For a $100 Target gift card, CardCash was willing to give me up to $82.50 in cash, either through a check in the mail, ACH transfer, or Paypal transfer.
They also offer prepaid Mastercard gift cards for $83.74, a dollar more than its cash counterpart.
These sites won’t buy every gift card from you, but they’re worth checking out if you’re sure you just want some cash.
Sometimes, I buy discount gift cards from sites like these to get a quick deal.
I often buy Panera gift cards for a couple dollars under their value, saving me some money whenever I’m in the mood for a panini.
Again, these sites are great when you know that you’d rather exchange your card for cash and don’t mind spending a little bit of the balance to do so.
How to Trade Your Gift Card for Cash at a Kiosk
There are a ton of different kiosks out there that will accept your unwanted items for cash.
I’ve seen kiosks at malls that will pay you for broken phones, old shoes, and even jewelry.
Some of these kiosks will also accept your gift card and offer you cash in return.
There are also kiosks that will take your loose change and turn it into paper money, for a fee.
These machines may also accept your gift cards and give you cash in return.
Head to a local kiosk and scan your gift card using their scanner.
The machine should be able to read your card, check the balance, and give you an offer for whatever is available.
Can You Use a Visa Gift Card on Cash App or Venmo?
A lot of articles across the web say that you can use both Cash App and Venmo to add money from a Visa gift card.
I tried with both a Visa gift card and a Mastercard gift card. Neither worked for me on either app.
The only types of prepaid Visa or Mastercards that work on Venmo are ones with your name on them.
They don’t accept the Vanilla gift cards you probably get for graduation or for the holidays.
You can add Mastercard gift cards to Paypal, but you can’t add Visa gift cards. Paypal partners with Mastercard for their own debit card, so they probably have a deal with the payment processors.
Can You Add Your Vanilla Visa Gift Card to Paypal?
For this article, I bought both a Vanilla Visa gift card and a Mastercard gift card.
While they’re treated as basically the same card at 9/10 locations, I was looking for the 1/10 that will catch you when you’re least expecting it.
And I found it!
I tried adding both gift cards and their balances to Cash App, Chime, Current, Paypal, and Venmo.
Turns out you can only add your Mastercard itself to Paypal, and you can’t add your Visa gift card anywhere.
The only way to add your Visa gift card to any of these fintech apps is to have your name on it.
Paypal only accepts prepaid Mastercard gift cards because they’re partnered with them.
You probably can’t add your Visa gift card to Paypal for this reason.
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