Visa gift cards cannot be purchased in the United States for international use due to federal government regulations prohibiting such use, as of 2015. In addition, Visa gift card vendors are prohibited from accepting payment for gift cards from foreign sources. Alternatively, prepaid Visa TravelMoney cards are a viable substitute for gift cards because they are for domestic and international use. Visa TravelMoney cards can be purchased online at Visa's website or at various retail locations.
Visa gift cards purchased within the United States are fine for use while traveling within the country. Gift cards are convenient alternatives to travelers checks, but their downside is that they are purchased and used anonymously; gift cards can be used more easily for fraudulent purposes because they aren't tracked. Alternatively, prepaid travel cards offered by Visa are linked to the financial institutions that issue them and can easily be tracked, making them a preferable choice for international travel.
Visa TravelMoney cards are used similarly to bank debit cards and are accepted as payment for store and online purchases. Visa TravelMoney cards are superior to gift cards because they come with the option of cash withdrawal from ATM machines. Also, if the card is lost or stolen while traveling, users can contact Visa emergency services and receive emergency cash and help with language translation.