Bad News for Gift Card Redemptions at Albertsons and Safeway Stores

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Gift Card Redemptions at Albertsons

Bad News for Gift Card Redemptions at Albertsons and Safeway Stores

Albertsons, Safeway and possibly other affiliated stores are introducing changes that will heavily affect those who use these locations to drain their gift cards. A memo has been sent out, informing store workers and managers that certain gift card transactions of $100 or more will be declined.

The memo was sent out last month, and the changes are expected to go into effect sometime in the future, as reported by Frequent Miler. These changes are due to new security enhancement being implemented by Blackhawk Network, which issues Visa and Mastercard gift cards sold at many popular stores.

Once implemented, purchases of $100 or more will be auto-declined at the customer service desk. Money Order purchases and Money Wire Transfers are specifically stated in the memo. The change is being made to prevent fraudsters from making large purchases that can’t be traced back to an account owner, since the cards are not linked to a bank account or registered to the owner.


It is not clear from the memo when the change will go into effect exactly. This should apply to all Albertsons brands, which you can see here. This is a change that’s being made by Blackhawk Network for security enhancements and anti-money laundering control. This could mean that similar changes could soon come to other chains as well.

Let us know if you have encountered any issues at Albertsons stores when using gift cards.

Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last two years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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  1. I have manufacturing lots of point now for about 5 years using my Chase Ink Plus business card to buy gift cards to buy M/Os, So, needless to say I am very disappointed. I ran into that at Albertson’s last week. The cashier did let my buy the M/O but did not know when the new rule would take effect.
    Here is what I don’t understand. If I’m going launder money I’m just going take the money and buy M/Os with the cash. Why go thru the extra step of buying gift cards and then M/Os. That is just a wasted step
    step and wasted time. Or they are going to take the cash and buy gift cards and spend the gift cards. They are not going to do both because it is a wasted extra step.

  2. Is it $100 or more, or more than $100? All of my VGC from grocery stores tend to be $100 and $50 fixed amount card offers with the activation fee waived, they regularly make those $100 offers so seems like they would want it to be $101 and above. Confusing: “… prevent fraudsters from making large purchases that can’t be traced back to an account owner,…” If you buy $1000 in VGC with a CC that’s pretty easily accounted for, and if you buy with cash, where’s the fraud opportunity. Other than MS, I don’t follow how this could connect to purchase fraud.

    • If you buy VGC/MGC and don’t register them in your name any purchase made with those cards is untraceable. Likewise any MO you buy with those cards.

      • #1 if you paid with a CC then there is a paper trail leading back to you

        #2. It’s not even the reason they are closing this avenue

      • Outside of CC MS, where we all know that our identify is clearly tracked, seems like a lot of effort. I follow how cash > VGC > MO would work to hide incoming dollars and their use, and that would be load of activity to be substantial income, probably more work than just working. But for purchases, I don’t see how a VGC vs. directly purchasing with cash changes anything, and if it’s to buy on line without CC, well, you’re shipping the item somewhere, so eventually there is a trail. But I fully realize, you have to live in a criminal world to understand these needs. Must be a lot of it out there perhaps in the non-citizen world, making it seem like it needs a wide fix when the fix is actually targeted.

        • you are missing a key word in here.

          I follow how “(drug/stolen)” cash > VGC > MO would work to hide incoming dollars and their use,

          Its not about the profit from the process (it is for us). Its about the clean end result.


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