I was organizing my wallet today and realized that I had several prepaid debit cards taking up valuable space. They had been given to me as gifts on special occasions, and I knew I had long since used up the majority of the value of each of them. Still, each had a little bit of money left over. How could I use up every last penny?
On the back of each card there was a website where I could check the balance. After looking up my three cards, I found that I had a total of $8.45 in unused cash! Not a tremendous amount, but certainly not to be thrown away, either.
Many brick-and-mortar stores will allow “split transactions”, allowing you to charge a certain amount to one card and then pay the balance with another method. If you know the exact balance on your prepaid gift card, you can certainly use it that way. Unless the gift card is associated with that particular store, though, they cannot look up the balance for you–you need to know the amount you have left. It’s much harder to find websites that allow split transactions.
Since I’m doing a lot of my shopping online these days, I decided to hunt around for websites that would allow me to purchase gift cards in any amount. I discovered that Amazon.com was one of the few places where I could enter any gift card amount I chose. So, I used my prepaid debit cards to purchase Amazon.com gift cards worth $0.76, $1.69 and $6.00, which I emailed to myself. The best part: I can combine all of those gift cards to use on a single purchase on Amazon if I want to.
It took me a matter of minutes to look up the balances on my cards and convert them to Amazon gift cards to make the most of this found money. It’s definitely a worthwhile exercise if you have small balances left on some prepaid gift cards–time to look through your wallet and junk drawer!