How to get cash from a Vanilla Visa gift card

How can you get cash from a vanilla Visa gift card?

The best ways to get cash from your visa debit cards include:

  1. Adding the card as a payment method in Venmo and transferring the balance to your bank account.
  2. Link the card to your PayPal wallet and transfer the balance.
  3. Get an offer from CardCash and log into PayPal. Select ‘Get my PayPal balance.’
  4. Trade in your gift card via card exchange websites or mobile app.
  5. Sell your card (e.g., Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace)
  6. Buy a Money Order and cash it at your bank.
  7. Exchange through a gift card kiosk
  8. Buy and resell items
  9. Pay your monthly expenses

There are many ways to get cash off your gift card. However, the most convenient way is to add your card to any of your mobile wallets and direct deposit the money into your account. It’s a great way to transfer money while avoiding high fees.

Luckily, I’ll show you how to get your money so you can ditch the gift card.

Key Takeaways:

  • Visa gift cards are a great option for making payments. You can use them at most retail stores or for online purchases.
  • The easiest way to transfer the remaining balance of your card is to link it to your mobile wallets (e.g., PayPal or Venmo). Standard transfer takes a few days, but is usually free. Instant transfers will usually charge a processing fee.
  • Trade, barter, or give your card to a family member during special occasions as an alternative means to get rid of unwanted gift cards.

TFF22-107 - How to get cash from a Vanilla Visa gift card

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

How to Get Cash from a Vanilla Visa Gift Card

You can opt to exchange a Vanilla gift card for cold hard cash through:

  1. Venmo
  2. PayPal
  3. Trading your card in
  4. Selling your gift card
  5. Buying a money order
  6. Use a gift card exchange kiosk
  7. Buy and Resell items
  8. Use it for everyday expenses

My personal favorite is to use Venmo or Paypal to move the extra money from my gift card to bank account. It’s one of the easiest ways and doesn’t require a lot of extra steps.

Let’s take a look at each of the different ways to transfer your cash.

Get Cash Through Venmo

To get money from a Vanilla Visa gift card through Venmo, create and log into your Venmo account.

Create a Venmo account

To use Venmo, you must:

  1. Be physically within the United States
  2. Have a phone that can receive texts
  3. Be 18 or older
  4. Have a phone that supports the app. You can also use Venmo on a computer, although the app is more user-friendly.

Add your gift card as a Venmo payment option

Once your account is set up, add your gift card as a Venmo payment option by:

  1. Open the app and go to the “Me” tab
  2. Find “Settings” in the top right corner
  3. Click on “Payment Methods”
  4. From here, you can add the Vanilla card details.

There’s a chance the card can get declined by the card issuer or Venmo for fraud prevention or because it requires a zip code. If this happens, it’s recommended to try again or call Venmo customer service.

Transfer the balance to your bank

Once the balance is in Venmo, you can transfer it to your linked bank account for no extra fee if you select the standard transfer, which takes 1 to 3 business days. Once the money hits your checking account, you can grab your cash at a local branch or ATM.

Get Cash Through PayPal

There are two ways to get cash through a Vanilla Visa gift card; both require you to have a PayPal account.

Both of these methods will most likely require an exchange fee. Once the money has been transferred from the Vanilla card to your PayPal account, you can either:

  1. Transfer the balance to your checking account and then take it out from an ATM
  2. Use a debit card linked to your PayPal account to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Open a PayPal account

To open an account, you’ll need to connect your checking account, a credit card, or a debit card after entering your personal details.

If you don’t have a PayPal account, check out this quick video guide on creating your account.

Method 1: Link a card to PayPal

The first way to get cash for your Vanilla Visa through PayPal requires you to log into your account. Then:

  1. Select “Wallet” at the top of the page
  2. On the left of the page, there is a button that says, “Link a card or bank.”
  3. Follow the prompts until you are asked to add your Visa gift card details, and then click “Link Card.”

If you receive an error message, try registering the card with the issuer so an address can be linked to the gift card, and this should clear up the error.

Method 2: Use CardCash

The other way to get cash through PayPal is with CardCash.

  1. On their website, enter the gift card’s balance amount and merchant’s name and click “Get offer.”
  2. After agreeing to the exchange terms and fees, click “Continue.”
  3. Enter the gift card number and PIN, and click “Connect with PayPal.”
  4. After logging onto PayPal and completing the required fields, click “Get my PayPal balance.”

Trade Your Vanilla Card for Cash

Certain merchants online, in-store, or apps and websites allow you to trade gift cards for cash, but may not accept Vanilla Visa gift cards. In this case, you can buy another type of gift card that is accepted using your Visa gift card. Then, you can complete a cash exchange with the new gift card.

Fortunately, I’ve already written about the best places for getting cash for your gift cards. This guide compares different websites and apps and gives you our #1 recommendation for saving the most amount of money.

Note: You may have heard about Gift Card Granny as an easy method for trading in your gift card. Unfortunately, they no longer buy gift cards and are only focused on selling. The good news is that the article I referenced above lists some of the most cost-effective options for cashing in your prepaid gift card.

Sell Your Gift Card

An interesting way to get cash from a Vanilla Visa gift card is to sell it through apps, websites, or in person.

Two apps you can use are Prepaid2Cash and Raise. Both are available in the app store on iOS and Android (Google Play) but also have steep fees. Raise takes a 15% commission and Prepaid2Cash takes about 8%.

Prepaid2Cash allows you to type in the gift card brand, and then it presents you with an offer. You can accept or decline, allowing you to shop for your best option. The money is deposited into your account in five business days or less if you accept.   

You can also sell the balance on your Vanilla card through sites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or eBay. You can meet in person and exchange the card for cash if the person is local. If not, you will need to pay to mail it to them.

Also, keep in mind that most people will only be willing to pay a portion of the card’s worth. People are looking for discounts and know they are helping you get rid of the card.

Buy a Money Order

A money order is similar to a regular check, but is a better option due to enhanced security measures, such as, not displaying your bank information. You can purchase a money order for a small fee from:

  • A financial institution, such as your bank or credit union
  • Certain convenience stores or gas stations
  • Post offices
  • Money transfer services, such as Walmart’s MoneyGram

Some stores, such as Walmart and certain grocery stores, will let you use a Vanilla Visa to buy a money order. Once you have a money order, you can deposit it into your bank and withdraw the cash once it clears.

Remember that some banks disapprove of accounts with too many money orders deposited in a certain time range. This could temporarily suspend or even shut down your account, so use money orders sparingly and check your bank’s policy before proceeding.

Get Cash through a Gift Card Kiosk

Getting cash from a Vanilla Visa gift card through a Gift Card Kiosk is an easy way to immediately get cash in your pocket. You can find Gift Card Kiosks at most supermarkets and shopping malls. They are usually yellow and easy to spot.

At the kiosk:

  1. Enter the gift card information, such as the card number, expiration date, and so on.
  2. The kiosk with then present you with a variety of offers. Pick the offer that issues cash.
  3. The kiosk will print a voucher you can take directly to the cashier to receive your cash.

Buy and Resell Items

Buying items with your Vanilla Visa gift card and reselling them adds an extra step to getting cash but could lead to a profit. Most stores treat gift cards like credit cards, so you should be able to purchase almost anything in a store with your gift card. You can look for something discounted or in high demand and then resell it for more and gain a profit.

Use It for Standard Expenses

If you use a Vanilla Visa gift card to cover everyday expenses, you don’t have to worry about exchanging the amount for cash. Instead, you withdraw the money you were going to use otherwise. You can use a Visa gift card to pay bills with any billing provider that already accepts Visa credit cards.

Since these cards are treated like credit cards, be aware of any credit card fees. Some standard expenses you can pay with a Vanilla Visa gift card include:

  • Monthly phone or internet service providers
  • Gas
  • Groceries
  • Other subscriptions like a streaming service or gym membership.


The following are frequently asked questions about getting cash from gift cards.

Can You Transfer a Vanilla Visa Balance to Cash App?

Unfortunately, as of 2022, you can’t directly transfer a reloadable prepaid card to Cash App. Cash App does not support gift cards, so funds from a Vanilla Visa gift card can’t move between the card to your cash app account.

Instead, you can use one of the above methods to transfer the Vanilla Visa gift card balance to your bank account. Then link that account to your Cash App and transfer the funds this way. After doing this, you’ll be able to use the cash balance through the app.

What’s the Easiest Way to Get Cash from a Vanilla Visa Gift Card?

The easiest way to get cash from a Vanilla Visa gift card is using a Gift Card Kiosk, if any are located within your nearest supermarkets. You do have to go in person, but this method takes the least steps to secure your cash.

The second easiest way to get cash for your Vanilla Visa balance is by using Venmo. You can do everything through your phone except for the last step of getting cash out of an ATM. This will take a few days until the money reaches your bank account, but you can avoid fees and get the full balance of your card in cash.

The third easiest way would be using the Vanilla Visa gift card to pay for standard expenses if your billing provider accepts the gift card. You would have to keep up with the gift card balance and make sure it is all spent. You would also need to withdraw cash from your bank account at a local branch or ATM.

What’s the Difference Between a Vanilla Visa Gift Card and a regular Visa Gift Card?

Overall, there isn’t much difference between Vanilla Visa and regular Visa gift cards. A standard Visa gift card is meant to be used for anything, whereas the Vanilla Visa gift card is commonly used as a workplace incentive for employers to give to their employees.

Both can be purchased in amounts ranging from $10 to $500. Both are prepaid cards with a set balance that can be used in-store or online where Visa cards are accepted.

Any of the various ways to receive cash discussed in this article will work, irregardless of the type of card.

Can I directly transfer money from a Vanilla Visa Gift Card into my Bank Account?

Since Visa gift cards are treated like credit cards, you can’t directly transfer the balance into your bank account.

Can I Transfer Money from a Vanilla Visa Gift Card to my Debit Card?

Not directly, but you can use Venmo or PayPal. Ensure the debit card you want the money on is linked to your Venmo or PayPal account. Once you transfer the balance from the Visa gift card to Venmo or PayPal, you can transfer it to whatever debit card or bank account is linked to the account.

Can I Use a Vanilla Visa Gift Card to Withdraw Cash at an ATM?

Cards used at ATMs require a PIN code for security, and most prepaid gift cards do not have this feature and cannot be used at ATMs.

Summary: Get Cash for Visa Gift Cards

As you can see, the best places to cash in your gift card are:

  1. Venmo
  2. PayPal
  3. Trading your card in
  4. Selling your gift card
  5. Buying a money order
  6. Use a gift card exchange kiosk
  7. Buy and Resell items
  8. Use it for everyday expenses

The best method is to link the card to your Venmo or PayPal account as payment cards. You can then use standard money transfers to move the money to your bank at no additional cost. Keep in mind, the instant transfer option comes at a higher price for the convenience.

Visa gift cards are essentially free cash. You can always give them away, trade, or barter them instead of trying to get money from them. Most people would be happy to receive free gift cards, even if there isn’t much money remaining on the card.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.