Any store that accepts Visa debit cards also accepts Visa gift debit cards, allowing the cardholder to use his gift card at millions of locations across the United States. If a cardholder wants to use the gift card for online purchases, he must first register with the institution that issues it. Most cards do not include a personal identification number, so the store must process the payment as a credit card payment and not as a debit purchase, states Visa.
Although car rental agencies and hotels accept Visa gift cards to settle the account at the end of the contract, some do not accept them to hold the vehicle or room, warns Visa. If planning to rent a vehicle, always check with the business prior to attempting to rent a car or room.
When using a Visa gift card at a restaurant, the proprietor may include a hold that is 20 percent above the cost of the meal. This hold ensures there are funds to cover any tip the cardholder includes for the payment. If the funds, including the hold for the tip, are unavailable, Visa declines the purchase. Once the final payment clears, the remainder of the hold returns to the balance on the card, reports Visa.
Some institutions issue Visa gift debit cards for domestic use only. Businesses outside the United States cannot accept these cards, according to Visa