I seem to end up getting prepaid Visa, MasterCard, or American Express gift cards pretty regularly. However, I tend to lose track of them or misplace them often. I know I should be better about it, but I am not. What I really would like is to have those funds put into one of my regular spending accounts. Either my checking account or my PayPal account that I have a debit card for also. Now I have a way to easily do that!

First off, there is a fee for both of these things. 2.7% to 2.75%. Yes, I realize that is losing a little money, but for me the convenience of putting it all together is worth it. Plus I also do not end up with those cards with $1.12 or 72¢.
PayPal HereOption 1 is PayPal Here – a huge thank you to @CertifiableMom for telling me about this today. You will need a PayPal account for this obviously and it will need to be a business account. I already had this so it was not an issue. Go in and use the free version of PayPal Here on the website. You will need the app for your iPhone also. In the app you can request them to send you the PayPal Here card reader also. Even if you do not have the reader yet you can still input cards by scanning them with the phone camera or manually typing in the numbers – the fee is a tiny bit higher doing it this way. The money is then instantly put into your PayPal account! Super-duper, handy-dandy, EZ-PZ!

Option 2 is Square – a huge thank you to @ericwilborn for sharing this with me – this is what I had heard of first actually. It is also an app and you get the free card reader (to swipe cards in) from them. You just swipe the prepaid card and put in the amount and it will be deposited into your banking account. That is the only option for Square currently – attach it to a banking account, no PayPal accounts.

square

 

Important notes. Make sure you register your prepaid gift cards first. Look on the back of the gift card and go to the website they show and follow the onscreen instructions. The zip code seems to be the most important part of this part. While you are there get the exact balance of your card also so you can transfer the full amount to Square or PayPal. Also, because I did have the Square swiper thing already, I tried using it within the PayPal app thinking they both do the same thing, but for whatever reason it did not read the card. No biggie, I have a PayPal reader coming soon too.

I am now a very happy camper to be able to do this. It makes my life simpler! Plus, on top of being able to transfer gift cards I can also take payments from clients at meetings instantly now. Another bonus is that this will make it very easy to share billing with friends when we go out – I can pay the full bill and then I scan their card and take their portion of the payment and have it in my account instantly. Sweet!

Is this a tip you might be able to use yourself or pass on to others?

PS – Don’t forget about my previous post about using up low balance cards to get Amazon.com credit too

DISCLOSURE: NONE – this is just info I am sharing on my own.