How to activate a gift card

How to activate a gift card

A Vanilla Visa gift card is the perfect way to give someone a cash gift without actually sending cash. The cards are easy to set up and mail to whomever you might want to treat. They’re also accepted by a wide range of retailers, both online and in physical stores. However, you might not know whether your card is active, and therefore ready to use. This guide will cover how to activate a Vanilla gift card in three very easy ways.

The three ways in which you can activate your Vanilla gift card are online, with the cashier you physically purchase it from, or through the toll-free helpline on 0333 600 22 44.

It’s important to note that most Vanilla cards that are purchased by a consumer are active. Vanilla’s official advice is that these cards will work as soon as you receive them as a gift. However, the following methods will also work for you if you want to check that the card is active and determine its balance.

Jump to content 👉

Activate Your Card Online

  • Visit
  • Enter the Vanilla gift card number
  • Press “Activate”

To activate your card online, you need to visit the official Vanilla balance checking page. You can get there through our link here. Once you’re on the site, you’ll need to enter the long card number across the front of your card. With that information entered, you can press “activate,” and the card will be ready to use.

Through this site, you can also check the balance on your card. You might want to do this if a gift receipt isn’t sent to you with your card. It’s also useful if you’ve only spent a portion of the funds on the card and can’t remember how much is left on it.

Check with a Cashier That Your Card is Active

How to activate a gift card

When you purchase a Vanilla gift card from a store, it will almost always be immediately active and ready to use. However, if you want to be sure that the card is active, you can ask the cashier to check if it is active straight after purchasing it. This is great if you’re sending the card to someone who will only use it online and won’t check if it’s active in a physical store.

If you’ve received a card and want to check that it’s active in a store, then ask a cashier to check for you. Should the card be active, the cashier will be able to process a payment from it. If it’s not active, then you’ll need to activate the card either by phone or online.

Phone Vanilla to Check Your Card is Active

How to activate a gift card

The last way to activate your Vanilla gift card is direct with a member of staff at Vanilla on the phone. You can call their toll-free number 0333 600 22 44. This will get you through to the team who can both activate and check the balance left on your card.

Don’t worry about keeping this number handy if you’re out and about shopping. The number is on the back of all Vanilla gift cards, so you can always ring it when you need to because you’ll have the card on your person at the time.


Activating a Vanilla gift card is incredibly easy. The three methods we’ve listed are all you’ll need if you’re buying a card, or have been given one. If you want to check that you can spend money on the card, and how much money is left on it, there’s nothing more that you need to know.

Walmart is one of the largest retail chain stores in the world. They offer gifts as part of the many promotions offered to their numerous customers.

These gift cards can be for cheap trinkets or they can also be for goods costing more than $250. Walmart have a short yet clear gift card policy.

The company does not require electronic gift cards, gift cards that were part of a larger purchase of less than 25 cards and gift cards worth less than $250 to be activated.

The reason why you need to activate gift cards worth more than $250 and cards that were part of a bulk purchase of more than 25 is security. Without activating it, anyone would be able to use the card.

Activating the card is important because a Walmart gift card can be redeemed at many other online and physical stores.

When placing an order for a gift card, Walmart will send you an email with instructions as to how to activate your card. You should hence ensure the correct address is listed on your Walmart account.

You have several options as far as activating your Walmart gift card is concerned:


The process of activating your Walmart Gift card online is as follows:

1. Launch your web browser.

2. Open the URL sent to you in the email from Walmart. The URL should also be on the Walmart gift card you received. Be sure to type the correct URL as there are similar sites by hackers meant to steal these gift cards.

3. Enter the ID number, activation code and PIN if requested. They will be in the email you received from Walmart.

4. Once you input the activation code and access your card, it will be automatically activated. You can register your card if you want further protection against theft.

At the Store

You can also activate your Walmart Gift Card at whatever store you at which you want to redeem it. A gift card is the same as store credit you can spend on various items.

Once you buy the gift card, you can decide the amount that you want loaded onto the card. Walmart will give you the option of the exact amount you want to load onto the card.

If you do so, the gift card will be activated once you make a purchase with the amount you loaded onto the card. You should check with the cashier to ensure that the gift card is properly activated and you can make other purchases with the card. The cashier can offer you a receipt as confirmation of the activation.

By Phone

Walmart has a toll free number which you can call to get your gift card activated. The number is usually included in the email from Walmart and on the gift card itself.

The ID number, activation code and PIN on the card will be very useful even when activating the gift card by phone. If there is no sticker on the card hiding the above details, then the card is probably already activated.

However, you should note that not all cards have PIN numbers so if you don’t see one on your card don’t worry about it.

You should have the card near you or preferably in your hands when you call the toll free number. It will allow you to easily access the necessary information.

You can either follow the automated voice prompts or speak to a live customer service representative to activate the Walmart gift card. If that does not work, you should try other Walmart customer service numbers which you can find here.

We issue a range of gift cards as part of our Refer a friend program and Heritage Credits rewards program. Learn how to redeem or activate your gift card below.

We’ve partnered with Prezzee to deliver Heritage Bank Smart eGift Cards. Instead of receiving a gift card to spend at a specific retailer, Smart eGift Cards allow the recipient to choose where they want to spend the value of their card. There are plenty of Australian retailers to choose from.

If you’ve received a Heritage Bank Smart eGift Card, you’ll need to choose where you’d like to spend the money following these steps:

Step 1:

Check your inbox for your Heritage Bank Smart eGift Card

The email containing your Smart eGift Card will be sent from Prezzee on Heritage Bank’s behalf. Sometimes these emails get sent to your junk email, so make sure to check your junk folder if you haven’t received your card.

Step 2:

Open your Smart eGift Card by clicking the link in the email or scanning the QR code

A page will display which has your Heritage Bank Smart eGift Card. To use your Smart eGift Card, you’ll need to swap the amount for a retailer gift card of your choice. The Smart eGift Card expires 3 years after the date of issue.

Step 3:

Click ‘Swap it Now’

Step 4:

Select retailer gift card & value

Here you can select a retailer eGift card and the amount you would like to spend. Once the gift card and value has been selected, click ‘Add Card’.

TIP: You can swap your balance for gift cards from multiple retailers, so long as the total value redeemed does not exceed the Smart eGift Card value. For example, you can use a $75 Heritage Bank Smart eGift Card for a $25 Wish eGift Card and a $50 ebay eGift Card.

How to activate a gift card

Step 5:

Confirm your selection

Please ensure you understand the conditions of the retailer’s gift card before confirming. When ready, select ‘Confirm Swap’ then click ‘View gift card’ in the following screen.

Step 6:

View retailer’s gift card

Click ‘View card’ next to the retailer to access the details and to use the gift card.

Here you have the option to:

  • View the retailer gift card number and barcode to spend online or in store;
  • Save your gift card to your digital wallet; or
  • Download and print your gift card.

If you received a Heritage Prepaid Visa Gift Card that looks like the below, you can activate this online at

How to activate a gift card

Step 1: Enter the 13 digit Proxy Number (PN) shown on the front of the card underneath the Card Name.

Step 2: Enter the 4 digit auth code that is detailed in the letter you received from Heritage Bank. If you’ve misplaced this code, contact Heritage Bank on 13 14 22.

Step 3: Enter the 3-digit CVV number found on the back of your card.

You’ll also find plenty of FAQ’s and helpful information on the Universal Gift Card website.

Heritage Credits gift cards are issued by other companies, like Myer, that you have chosen to redeem your reward points on. Some of these gift cards will require activation before you can spend on the card. You will require access to Heritage Online to activate your card. If you do not have access to Heritage Online contact us 24/7.

Step 1: Login to Heritage Online on your desktop or mobile browser. Go to the ‘Settings’ menu and select ‘Rewarding You’

Step 2: Go to the ‘Rewards Account’ menu on the top of your screen. Select ‘Gift Card Activation’.

Step 3: Enter your gift card details and press the ‘Submit’ button to activate your card. Once activated, you can use and enjoy your Heritage Gift Card. Happy shopping!

How to activate a gift card

Start by looking at the back of your gift card. Typically, you’ll find a toll-free number you can call to discover your balance. Or you can check your balance by visiting the card issuer’s site and entering your card’s 16-digit number and security code.

Here’s a selection of Visa Gift card issuers where you can check your balance online:

Getting started with Visa Gift cards

How to activate a gift card

How to activate your Visa Gift card

Many Visa Gift cards are activated upon purchase and ready to use. However, if yours requires activation, you’ll typically see a sticker with instructions and a toll-free phone number.

How to activate a gift card

Where to use your Visa Gift card

You can use your gift card anywhere Visa is accepted, supermarket, gas station and even online. And you can make purchases up to the amount that’s on the card.

How to activate a gift card

Using your Visa Gift card in stores and online

In a store, you’ll just slide or insert your Visa card to pay. For an online checkout, you’ll enter your Visa gift card’s 16-digit number, expiration date and CVV in the appropriate form field.

How to activate a gift card

Making returns with a gift card

Even if there’s no balance left, you’ll want to hold onto your Visa Gift card. If you ever need to make a return, you’ll need to show the card.

FAQ about Visa Gift cards

  • Report a lost or stolen card immediately to the card issuer by calling the toll-free number listed on the issuer’s website or in the card documentation.
  • You’ll need to provide the lost or stolen Visa Gift card number for cancellation and replacement.
  • Registering your card is always a good idea. Some card issuers will replace a gift card only if it’s actually been registered.
  • Check to make sure there are sufficient funds on the card before making a purchase.
  • If your purchase is declined and you believe the card has sufficient funds, please contact the card issuer at the toll-free number listed on the back of the card.

When gifting a card, remember to give the recipient all the materials you received with the card at the time of purchase. These materials should include the issuer’s terms and conditions for use. If gifting to kids or teens, review the materials together.

The issuers determine the maximum amount of money a Visa Gift card can hold.

If you’re planning to return anything you purchased with the card, you’ll still need the actual card. So holding onto your gift card for a period of time is a good idea.

You’ll need your Visa Gift card, of course. The merchant will handle the return like any other Visa transaction and may put the funds back onto your card.

If your gift card states Valid only in the United States on the front, your issuer has issued a Domestic Use Only card. Although your gift card will not be accepted at locations outside of the United States, it’s welcome at millions of locations within the U.S. where Visa Debit cards are accepted.

When you’re ready to check out keep your Visa card handy and then, in the online form, fill in your 16-digit card number, expiration date and CVV number. You’ll want to make sure that your gift card’s balance is enough to cover the amount of your purchase.

Keep your Visa card handy and then, when asked, provide the following information: 16-digit card number, expiration date and CVV number.

Under federal law, gift card funds must be good for at least five years and, depending on the state you purchased the card in, you may actually have more time than that. Check with the gift card’s issuer for more details.

You sure can—but there may additional steps. At gas stations, you should be able to pay at the pump. If your transaction can’t be completed, you’ll need to use your card inside the station.

Hotels and car rentals often require a credit card and that’ll mean that they have to put a “hold” on your card—so part of the balance of your gift card may not be available. And, for tipping, the merchant or issuer may decide to authorize your transaction for an additional 20% above your total bill. The amount of your tip is still your choice though.

Most American Express gift cards come ready to use and do not require activation. You may also activate your card by going to or calling the number on the back of the card. Provide your card number, card expiration date, and the security code to activate your Amex gift card.

Imagine, trying to make a purchase, but your gift card hasn’t been activated! Even worse, what if your gift card charged fees so you don’t have a sufficient balance!

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you how to activate and register your Amex gift card. I’ll even tell you if there are any sneaky fees that you’ll be charged. You can make your purchases without any doubt that the funds are available.

How to activate a gift card

This article may contain affiliate links which pays a commission and supports this blog. Thank you for your support!

How do I activate my American Express gift card?

American Express gift cards can be activated by visiting Alternatively, you can call the 1-800 or 1-888 number on the back of the card. To activate, you will need your card number, expiration date, and the security code.

Here is a video by The Stuff I Use Channel showing you how to activate your Amex gift card.

When you visit, you will be prompted to enter in your card information.

How to activate a gift card

  1. Enter in your 15-digit card number without spaces
  2. Enter in the Expiration Date
  3. There is a four-digit security code on the front of the card. Enter in the four-digit security code.
  4. Optional: Enter in your email address. Your email will be linked to the card, but you’ll also receive promotional content from Amex.
  5. Perform the Captcha
  6. Click ‘sign in’ and you’ll be able to check your gift card balance. Your gift card is now registered and activated.

What number do I call to activate my American Express gift card?

The number to call for Amex gift card activation can be found on the back of your American Express gift card. The number is a 1-800 or 1-888 toll-free number, so you can activate your card on-the-go. You may also try calling customer service at 1-888-846-4308 to activate your card.

Do I have to activate my American Express gift card?

In most cases, you do not have to activate your American Express gift card. To activate your card, call the toll free number on the back of the card or visit Your card will be activated once you’ve provided your card number, valid thru date, and the security code.

The safest thing to do is attempt to activate your card if you’re unsure. Registering your card online is a good idea so you can check your balance.

Typically, gift cards that are bought online are already activated. Store bought gift cards may require activation.

Do American Express gift cards have an activation fee?

American Express gift cards do not have an activation fee. Instead, a fee is charged at the time of purchase. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any fees after the initial purchase .

You should note that the fee does not affect your gift card balance. For example, if you bought a $100 gift card the purchase fee would be in addition to the $100 balance.

Purchasing an Amex gift card online at has a $3.95 purchase fee. Therefore, your total cost of purchasing a $100 gift card would be $103.95. Other retailers may charge their own fees for the initial purchase.

Some gift cards do charge fees after the initial purchase, but not Amex. If you’re worried about old gift cards losing value over time, check out this article on the CARD Act of 2009 . The CARD Act set limitations on what Gift Card issuers can and cannot do for gift card fees.

Summary: Activating an American Express gift card

As you can see, you might not even have to activate your Amex gift card. However, it’s a good practice to attempt to activate and register your card prior to making a purchase. Registering your card can help you if your card is ever lost or stolen.

To activate your card, call the number on the back of the card. Alternatively, you can log in and check your card balance at which will activate the card.

American Express gift cards charge a one-time purchase fee. There are no additional fees charged after your purchase.