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How to split payment between a gift card and another form of payment.

question.jpgAs I mentioned last week, one of the new features I am introducing on this blog is to answer reader questions about gift cards. In addition, I will also provide answers to the most frequently asked gift card questions. I am fairly active online and regularly visit gift card related blogs and forums. One of the most commonly asked gift card questions is how to combine two forms of payment to make a purchase if the item you are trying to purchase costs more than the balance on your gift card. This transaction is known as “split tender” or “split payment”.

Whether you can do this or not depends on the merchant. Assuming that the merchant allows you to split payment between a gift card and another form of payment (cash, credit or debit card, or another gift card), it is important that you follow the steps below; otherwise, the merchant may refuse your request.

When Making a Purchase in the Store

Step 1: Know the balance on your gift card. Call the customer service number on the back of the card or go online to verify the balance on your gift card.

Step 2: Confirm with the cashier that the merchant accepts two forms of payment, including a gift card (just to be double sure). Be sure to tell the cashier what the other form of payment is since some merchants have restrictions on what other form of payment they will accept.

Step 3: When you are ready to pay for your item, tell the cashier you are splitting the payment between your gift card and another form of payment.

Step 4: First ask the cashier to charge a specific amount on your gift card (your gift card balance), and then use your other form of payment to pay for the remaining balance.

When Making a Purchase Online

Step 1: Know the balance on your gift card. Call the customer service number on the back of the card or go online to verify the balance on your gift card.

Step 2: Confirm that the merchant accepts two forms of payment, including a gift card by calling customer service or checking the gift card FAQs on their website.

Step 3: Select the item(s) you would like to purchase.

Step 4: At checkout, select payment via gift card.

Step 5: Enter gift card information.

Step 6: The system will inform you that you do not have enough funds to cover the purchase from your gift card and will prompt you to provide an additional form of payment for the difference.

Step 7: At this point, you can provide a credit or debit card to cover the difference.

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7 Comments

  1. Good Layout and design. I like your blog. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. .

    Jason Rakowski

  2. Good Blog. I will continue reading it in the future. Nice layout too.

    Aaron Wakling

  3. Kwame Kuadey

    Hi Aaron and Jason, thanks for stopping by. Totally missed your comments. Just found out they went to the spam folder:):)

  4. Frieda

    The easiest way to get around this problem is to first buy a store giftcard (in a separate transaction) for the balance of your AMEX/VISA/MC giftcard and then use the store gift card to pay for your purchase.

    Most stores can handle taking partial payments from their own giftcards without any special action on the part of the cashier.

  5. GiftCardBlogger™

    Frieda, thanks for your suggestion. Great point!

  6. Peter

    Another way to use up Visa, Mastercard and such types of gift cards that have a small balance on them is a service called cashfromcards – http://www.cashfrmcards.com. You can use this service to transfer your balance to PayPal.

  7. Bob

    Can u tell me which online purchase sites are supporting multi-tender payment?

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