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Vendor reference

The best resource we have found so far to find information on individual gift cards can be found at ScripSmart and their gift card directory. Also check their gift card graveyard for companies that have gone out of business.

Additionally, there is the information we have compiled below.

All-Access Visa Gift Card

The All-Access card comes in two varieties, reloadable and non-reloadable.

The all-access gift card has particularly high fees, even by gift card standards; they start charging monthly fees after the 6th month. Most other gift cards don’t charge them until after the 12th month. The All-Access card charges $4.95 in monthly fees; most other cards charge in the neighborhood of $2.95. Their “reloadable” card is even worse. You load it when you first buy it. At that point if you don’t “register” it within two months, you loose whatever money you had on it.

I’ve looked at a lot of gift cards and the all-access is the worst one I’ve seen. More about why they are so bad here.

At least one person has called them after finding out that their cards were worthless due to fees brining the balance down to $0 and All-Access sent them a check for the full original face value of the card; it may be worth calling their customer service and complaining.

The following graph shows the value life of an All-Access gift card pictorially:

All-Access life

A $25 gift card will be worthless after 12 months, a $50 gift card after 17 months, and a $100 gift card after 27 months.

American Express Gift Card

I've found the Amex gift cards to be pretty easy to use. If you don't register them, they return "Unsupported" for address verification checks, which means that they should work for online purchses no matter what you put in for name and address. Cards that always support address verification must be registered before you can use them for online purchases. If you do register your Amex gift card, then you must use that name and address when you use the card for online purchases.

Many people complain about problem with the Amex gift card. The most prominent complaint site is here.

However, Amex's recent move (9/30/09) that abolishes their monthly fee, and the fact that Amex cards already didn't ever expire (something which all open-loop gift cards will have to comply with in 2010) makes them the best choice for open-loop gift cards.

Git Card Balance Checks

Star Gift Card Exchange has a great page (here) that lists the websites and contact numbers for quite a few gift cards (Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc.).

Updated 5/10/10