The method of activation for Visa gift cards differs depending on the supplier, according to Visa. Usually a Visa gift card is automatically activated after purchase.
If a Visa gift card is not automatically activated after purchase, the recipient may be required to use a different method. In this case, it needs to be activated manually by the buyer after purchase. After activating a Visa gift card, recipients are encouraged to sign the back of the card in the designated area before making any purchases, as this helps prevent the card from being used by those other than the recipient, Visa explains.