How to Add a PIN to a Visa or MasterCard Gift Card

UPDATED 3/16/14 at 12PM: Simplified some of the steps and updated the PIN activation process.

There are hundreds of types of gift cards out there, but I will show you how to activate and create a PIN for 2 of them. Your gift card may work similarly or may be entirely different. Up first, I will show you how to add a PIN to a $200 Visa Gift Card.

200 Visa

All you have to do is go to the Gift Card Mall website (link) and click the Update Card PIN button.

Gift Card Mall Home

Enter your gift card’s number, expiration date, and CVV code on the back.

Update Card PIN

Now you can create any 4 digit PIN you want.  I usually go with the last 4 digits of the gift card you are working with, but any 4 digit PIN will work.

Update Card PIN Create PIN

Congratulations, your PIN has been successfully updated!  You can now use your gift card to load onto your Bluebird Card (link).

PIN Updated

 

Up next, I will show you how to add a PIN to a $200 MasterCard Gift Card.

200 MC

Follow these steps to add a PIN to your gift card:

  • Call 1-866-952-5653
  • Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish
  • Press 2 for all other inquires
  • Enter the 16 digit card number followed by the # sign
  • Enter the last 3 digits printed on the signature panel followed by the # sign
  • 3 Digits MCPress 3 to change (or create) your PIN
  • Enter a 4 digit PIN followed by the # sign (I usually use the last 4 digits of the gift card I am using, but you can use any 4 digit PIN you want)
  • 200 MCRe-enter your 4 digit PIN followed by the # sign
  • Congrats, your PIN has been successfully activated! Hang up and repeat the steps for your next MasterCard Gift Card.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

60 thoughts on “How to Add a PIN to a Visa or MasterCard Gift Card

  1. Pingback: Load Bluebird with Gift Cards at Walmart Money Center ATM | Travel with Grant

    1. Grant

      That’s a bummer Randy, how big is the gift card? You can use Amazon Payments to liquidate the card. Target Amex can be reloaded with gift cards without pins.

      Reply
  2. Pingback: Travel with Grant's Month in Review - August 2013 | Travel with Grant

    1. Grant

      You might be able to get cash back at grocery stores if you pay with the gift card. Be sure to select debit and enter your PIN. No access to ATMs though.

      Reply
  3. The Hitter

    Thanks so much Grant. I got to Walmart and I couldn’t load BB with a MC… i didn’t realize i had to register the card and set a pin first…. Visa is much easier

    Reply
    1. Grant

      I always add the PIN on the same day I buy the gift card and use the last 4 digits on the front of the gift card as the PIN. Then I go to Walmart the next day.

      Reply
  4. Bob

    Grant, is it possible to purchase a visa 200 gc at office supply and then register pin and go to walmart to load to BB the same day or do you have to wait 24 hours?

    Reply
  5. Kim

    Grant, looks like giftcardmall takes you to gowallet.com. The screen shots look very different from your article. Can you update? (Love all the help you provide- thanks!)

    Reply
  6. martha

    I’m so confused with earning points on my new Delta gold sky miles American express card using Bluebird. (or any other way ) Miles are not rewarded ” for purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, or purchases of any cash equivalents.” Please explain how to earn miles on expenditures that I would normally not use a credit card for… such as mortgage payment etc.
    Thank you so much.

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Martha, every credit card has that clause in the credit card agreement but none of them enforce it. People have been spending thousands of dollars with Vanilla Reload Cards and Bluebird and are earning miles/points.

      Reply
  7. Ying

    Where is the best place to buy gift cards? I looked into buying them online at Gift card mall via top cash back, but there’s a 3.95 fee, plus another 2 for denominations over $250, and a $3.99 shipping fee. Seems like it would be better to buy them at stores for 4.95, but then again I’m not sure they take credit card for those any more either…

    Reply
    1. Grant

      The best place to buy gift cards is in store. Just about every grocery store sells gift cards and will let you use a credit card. I like the One Vanilla Gift Cards because they are the easiest to load to Bluebird.

      Reply
    2. nancy

      I don’t know what kind of rebate Top Cash back gives. Another option: I’ve gone through Skymiles shopping, then ebates, and then Gift card Mall, and it hasn’t seemed too steep with the rebates.

      Reply
  8. Fergie

    Hi Grant
    I have been buying OneVanilla prepaid VISA cards at CVS since VR required cash payment. I have been going to my local Walmart to load the OV onto my Bluebird card. But today, my local WM will not accept My OV GC to load my Bluebird! I did try their ATM, which initially was not even working!, but when I entered my PIN (using 1234) nothing happened, it did not accept my PIN. HELP please!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Sometimes the OVGC activation is instant and sometimes it takes a day or so. I bet if you go back tomorrow you will have a better result.

      Reply
  9. J

    awesome blog, straight to the point and easy to understand, i like the math formulas and your indexing on the right and the hope you brought with the slow death of VR, unfortunate for me, never even got a chance to use it. regardless i have been modest in this for obvious reasons, but also learning alot about credit than from any financial source along the way and great service to society to fulfill otherwise unobtainable dreams for some. Sometimes i think there would be less ridiculous spend and modest (under the radar and slower growth) Manufacture spend, if some of the other blogs/websites were more clear with the info and gave step by step one liners than to have to test it the ambiguity in the marketplace, there would probably still me more VR type possibilities around. One question: what is the significance of the PIN I here about everywhere but not quite onto it yet? Why is CSP better the best card over INk plus? If we have good scores and then use bluebird by amex meant for the ‘unbankable’ as Amex puts it. Does that not drop our score. outside of the pie chart for credit score i do believe there are other factors that come into play, like resisting temptation/showing restraint when credit is available and responsible decision making…like i had to basic cc all my life into my forties and paid in full all the time since college, now 42 and score 750+ . with that score and starting to use bluebird for the ‘unbankable’ per amex… I do get the feeling that they are studying the market and as great as it is for unbankable, it may not be good to use if you never needed it or have alot of nonlegit spend that previously was legit, right… but having said that I do believe Amex and the other CC companies would be smart to produce something similar to Bluebird but for higher Max limits of transferability or business type individuals. God knows how much we pay in property taxes by check and get no miles for it with that hard earned money. Just some thoughts I’d like to hear your input and answers on. Don’t you think to prevent the loss of certain ways of MSing, is it not better to tell newbies to go slow incase it does disappear or get stopped. they all get greedy and take too much at one time, triggering red flags everywhere but with their miles. next thing they are calling the cc company and explaining and are under the radar a little but in current settings, even with small purchases 2-500 GC triggering declines. At my grocery all greendots are missing, no VR, no OV, and CVS has OV just a few but they are getting crazy at CVS, the staff call manager over the intercom thinking we are doing something illegal, its really not… its creative and not anyones fault that its all out there and can be many combinations not fully thought out in the corporate world. Sometimes corporations will shut it down not realizing the next Google might be MS with cards etc. Stimulates travel industry, credit industry, retail industry, dream big industry and after this last recession, Who doesn’t need a vacation… Hopefully this all lasts for awhile, but it doesn’t seem the Golden Age of miles is still around with all the miles devaluations. Kudos to making the world a better place…I enjoy any blog like this…

    Reply
    1. Grant

      Thank you for the comment. The Chase Ink Bold/Plus credit cards are better than the Chase Sapphire Preferred for MSing. You need a PIN on gift cards so you can unload the gift card balance to your Bluebird/Serve Card. Can you ask your question again, I am a bit lost with the long question. Thank you :)

      Reply
  10. bakingpoints

    Have you ever had Mastercard $200 GC purchased from staples show up as a big X when trying to load Bluebird at Walmart? It came with temporary PIN but wondering if I have to register beforehand. It was issued by US Bank. Also, would I have better luck at the money center or in a checkout lane? Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Grant

      MCGCs are trickier to unload than VGCs. You might need to press the change payment button. Either the checkout lane of money center will work.

      Reply
  11. Lindy

    Some companies are now selling gift cards that have no PIN. Doesn’t seem safe. The card# could’ve been scanned anywhere along the supply chain, and then within minutes of you activating the card, the person who prescanned it can now drain your card of all funds. Buyer beware.

    Reply
  12. Paula

    I received a Vanilla prepaid CAD card for $100 as a gift. I am in Australia and wanted to use it at a retailer. The POS asked for a PIN. I can’t seem to locate a PIN anywhere? There is a signature spot on the back and a CVS 3 digit code. I logged into the card and found it to be valid and still have $100 credit but no mention of a PIN??
    Do you know how to use??

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Most of the time the pin is included with the packaging of the Visa gift card, otherwise you can try the last 4 digits of the Visa gift card. Hopefully one of those works for you.

      Reply
      1. Paula

        I did figure it out. Just have the cashier (or you)enter the credit option and then just enter thru all the other prompts. No pin or signature required. My $100 is all spent up. 3 different stores and transactions

        Reply
        1. Grant Post author

          It should work just like a normal credit card. If the purchase is more than $50, you may want to tell the cashier to do a split payment with your $50 AMEX gift card first.

          Reply
  13. seif

    hey , ibought a visa giftcard from cvs and it doesnt work ? and what’s the name and adress that i have to use !

    Reply
    1. C cowie

      I bought 2 $100 visa 1 gift cards today and it says add last 4 digits of my phone number the ccv and the 16pin card no.when I do it either comes up with card not recognised or fraudulent cards??? Please help

      Reply

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