Got a gift card from someone and want to add the funds to your Cash App? Sounds easy. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Transferring money from store gift cards to a Cash App account isn’t possible, however, general-use gift cards like Visa or Mastercard prepaid debit cards can be used for adding money to your Cash App balance.
What is a Gift Card?
We’ve all used, or at least, heard of gift cards. But what are they exactly and what can you do with them?
A gift card is basically a prepaid debit card that includes a certain amount of money ready to be used for a wide variety of purchases.
Store or closed-loop gift cards can only be used at distinct merchants, shops, or retailers, and aren’t usually reloadable.
While general-use prepaid gift cards are not affiliated with any specific merchant and can also be used to withdraw cash at ATMs.
You can buy them with set amounts of money in-store or online and are a great gift when you don’t really want to buy a specific item(s) at a retailer. They can also be used online or in-store at the specific retailer only.
Open-loop or general-use gift cards are even more useful as they can also be used online or in-store but at a wide variety of merchants or even anywhere where debit cards are accepted.
Some of them even allow you to withdraw cash at ATMs.
Many open- and closed-loop gift cards will have a minimum and maximum initial loading amount. That can be a minimum of $10 and a maximum of $500, for instance.
Some gift cards are a better substitute for cash as they can be blocked if lost or stolen and the balance can be tracked. People often register them online to benefit from all of the advantages and features.
Do gift cards expire or have fees?
Because there are so many gift cards, virtually every major retailer has them, some of them do expire if not used in a certain timeframe after activation. They can also come with an activation fee and certainly with a re-loading fee, for ones that can be reloaded.
A certain amount of prepaid gift cards may also demand a monthly or dormant-account fee. The point is, you better read the fine print to not lose money on them.
What Cards Does Cash App Support?
Cash App is actually very good at supporting a wide variety of cards. That also means all major debit and credit cards are supported, including Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover, among many others.
But here’s the interesting part. Prepaid cards (open-loop) are also supported, but, the thing is, depositing to these cards doesn’t work. That still means that you can use them to transfer money from them to the Cash App account.
What Cash App doesn’t support, however, is PayPal, ATM cards, and, Business debit cards.
PayPal is definitely the most widely used and the most popular payment and money transfer platform in the world. But PayPal is also Cash App’s direct opponent, not only with its main offering but also with Venmo, which PayPal holds, and that does a similar job to what Cash App does.
How to Add Your Bank Account to the Cash App
Adding a bank account to your Cash App is very easy. But it doesn’t have to be a bank account. It could also be a prepaid debit card. You can easily add one of these by logging in to your Cash App and:
- Tapping the Profile Icon on the home screen
- Selecting “Linked Banks”
- Tapping on “Link Bank”
- Following the instructions
You can also do this manually by entering your routing and account numbers. However, you will need to find and copy your account and routing numbers first. To do it:
- Tap on the “Banking” tab on the home screen
- There, tap on the routing and account number under the balance, and
- Copy your account and routing numbers
How to Add Money to Your Cash App Balance
Adding money from a gift card to your Cash App balance is easy and involves the following steps:
- Tap the “Banking” tab on your Cash App home screen
- Tap “Add Cash”
- Pick an amount
- Tap “Add”
- Lastly, use Touch ID or enter your PIN to confirm
Rising Number of Gift Card Scams
You might think that gift cards are harmless and that one couldn’t tamper with them or use them for foul play. However, the truth is the opposite.
You see, in the first 9 months of 2021, people registered losing $148 million in gift card scams. The gift cards were used as a form of payment, i.e., to pay a scammer. The $148 million is even more than was declared in all of the 2020.
Almost 40k people have used gift cards to pay scammers in 2021. The scammers were reportedly imitating large businesses or even government agencies. It’s easy to see why, as these organizations have arguably the most authority.
RELATED: The 10 Most Common Cash App Scams
Interestingly, the Target gift cards were the most popular choice for scammers as they accounted for roughly $35 million in payments to scammers. That’s more than twice as much as any other gift card. What an achievement for Target.
Cash App is one of the most-used financial apps in the United States and gift cards are an extremely popular present, not only from your friends and family but also from businesses.
As we showed you, transferring money from gift cards to the Cash App balance is possible. But only if you have a so-called, open-loop gift card that is basically a prepaid debit card, generally from Visa, Mastercard, or Discover, and to some extent, American Express.
You can use these kinds of cards to load money onto Cash App but can’t use them to withdraw, or cash out.
Adrian Volenik is a fintech enthusiast who loves testing and reviewing digital banking apps and financial products in general. How many digital banking accounts can one man have? Not enough, if you ask Adrian. As his wallet will soon explode if he doesn’t cut back on the number of cards.