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How to transfer a Visa Gift Card balance to your bank account with Square

Visa gift cards aren’t cash, but it’s possible to turn them into cash using Square, a card reader for small businesses to take credit card fees. Some articles suggest using PayPal, but PayPal doesn’t always work because these gift cards can’t be verified. Square is another option, but it will cost you a percentage of the transferred amount and the cost of the player if you buy one (details in the “Tips” section). Please note that some users are reporting that Square has started blocking Visa Gift Cards for certain users. There is a possible workaround, but there is no guarantee that it will work either.

Activate your Visa Gift Card online on the website provided on the card. Many cards come pre-activated, so you don’t have to worry about that unless the card says it needs to be activated.

Check your card balance if you don’t know it. This can be done by going to a website or calling a number (both will be on the map). Remember the balance and minimize the number of balance checks. Some Visa gift card issuers charge a fee to check the balance, speak with customer service, and just about everything else.

Transfer the money or spend it quickly. Visa gift cards, as well as a similar card from American Express, charge a monthly fee just to have a balance. If you plan to spend or are trying to get it into your bank account, do it quickly. 

Sign up for Square and enter your information. This can be done either through the app, which is available for iOS (iPhones/iPads) and Android or through the website, www.squareup.com. You will need to enter:

Your name and email

Your business name

The type of business

How you plan to use Square

Estimated annual income.

If you are not a business, you will still need to enter information for these fields.

Confirm your email address.

Link your bank account to Square. Square will deposit the balance of your gift card or other transaction into this bank account. It’s usually not immediate and can take up to two business days according to Square’s FAQ. This approach may not work if you need to transfer the gift card quickly.

Decide whether you will use a card reader or manual entry. Square charges users different rates if they use the card reader or do manual entry. A reader charges a lower fee of 2.75% compared to the transaction fee of 3.5% + $0.15 for manual entry.

You can buy Square readers at a store like Best Buy, order one from Square for $29.00, or borrow one from a friend. Multiple accounts can share the same player.

Appear as a merchant. Although Square says it accepts Visa gift cards, there are mixed reports that Square will reject a Visa gift card if it thinks you’re using the service once to transfer a balance. To avoid this, you need to convince Square that you are a regular merchant or find a friend who is an established merchant to do the transfer for you.

There is no guarantee that it will work, but it will increase the chances of success.

You can skip this part and try to complete the gift card transfer by following the steps in the next part. Just be aware that it may fail.

Open the Square app and enter an amount for a transaction. This is a transaction that you create and play with your funds or credit card. You don’t buy or sell anything. This creates a transaction record in Square before attempting to transfer the Visa Gift Card balance. It is recommended to enter an amount in Square that is not too large as it charges transaction fees. You will get this money back to the bank account linked to Square, it does not disappear.

Enter credit card information for the charge. You are not using the Visa Gift Card yet, so choose another card for this transaction. It doesn’t matter what type of card you use.

Perform a few additional small transactions with your funds. This will make you look more like a trader and also serve as a test before a larger balance transfer.

Check your bank account linked to Square. The transactions you have made are credited to your bank account within two working days. Square will charge transaction fees, so the amount transferred to your bank account will be the amounts you entered minus the fee.

Load the gift card balance on Square. The gift card will be authorized, the card balance will drop to zero, and the funds will be deposited by Square into your bank account within one business day.

If Square doesn’t allow the transfer, you’ll see a note that it’s against their policy to Transfer a Visa Gift Card balance. They will still charge the 3.5% or 2.75% fee to your bank account and the balance will be credited to the Visa gift card.

Check your bank account for the money. It should only take one business day for the money to appear in your account. Allow an extra day if you charged later in the day, some banks also take the time to process it. The transaction may appear as a pending deposit and may not have immediate availability. Check your bank’s policies online or at your branch.

A bank’s stated policy is usually the worst case for the availability of your funds. This is often faster than the times indicated.

Check the Visa Gift Card balance. The Visa Gift Card should have a zero balance if you successfully transferred the funds. However, if Square has rejected the transaction, you will need to verify the balance and ensure that the funds have been returned to the Visa Gift Card.


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