U.S. News and World Report suggests that gift card holders know the value of their cards for security reasons. Though retailers often host simple web-based tools to ascertain the remaining value of a gift card, the exact procedures of ascertaining balances varies.
According to U.S. News and World Report, tracking the balance on a gift card is a good way of reducing the risk of gift card fraud. If any discrepancy is discovered, checking the balance regularly provides an opportunity to contact the gift-card issuing business promptly.
To prevent fraud, balance check forms hosted by retailers often require one to provide additional information besides the gift card number. As of 2015, Starbucks gift cards include an eight digit security code that must be provided along with the card number in the online balance inquiry form. AMC Theaters requires the gift card number and the correct solution to an image-based puzzle to ensure the gift card balance tool is not misused. Walmart requires the card number, a PIN and a correct puzzle solution.
As of 2015, Giftcards.com provides instructions for checking the balance of numerous retail and restaurant gift cards. Using the merchant gift cards section, choose the business name from the selection menu, and the instructions specific to the chosen retailer appear. If it's necessary to check gift card balances for two or more retailers, this site may help save time by reducing the need to search out each individual retailer's site.