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Visa Gift Card Transaction Cancelled? How Long Until the Funds are Returned?

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Dealing With Visa Gift Card Cancelled Transactions

Dealing With Visa Gift Card Cancelled Transactions

I was sitting on a stack of Visa gift cards (VGC) over the last few weeks because of that awesome Office Depot/Max deal.  After figuring out how many trips to Walmart I was in for I decided to look at other options to liquidate the cards.  That is when I came across the iTunes deal at Costco…a win win.  Or so I thought!

Issues with the Transaction

The sale at Costco was a break even or slight money maker with my reselling relationships.  If I used my VGC to make the purchase I would be able to drain them and essentially get 5x UR for the purchase.  It almost reminded me of the good ole days with PayPal Digital Gifts…R.I.P.

I did my first order and waited.  It seemed to go through ok and I received the iTunes cards an hour or so later.  Since it worked like a charm I ordered the other denominations with some more VGCs.  Then I sat back and thought about all of the Walmart runs I just saved myself…until the cancellations came through.

My 2nd, 3rd, and 4th orders were all cancelled.  No big deal, I thought, until I checked the balance on the cards…the charges were all still pending.  I figured it would take a few days for the pending charges to fall off, similar to a credit card, but they didn’t.  After poking around google without finding much of an answer I decided to call the company and see what kind of time frame I could expect.  They said anywhere from 7-10 days.

Timeline of the Refunds

Since there wasn’t much info out there about this I thought it would be good to keep track of my progress.  This should help anyone who runs into a similar situation in the future, they now know what to expect.

The first few cards took 11 days for the charges to fall off.  That included Thanksgiving and one Sunday.  That may have added a day or two.

The final card took 10 days and had two Sundays in the time frame.  It did not involve Thanksgiving.

I think it is pretty safe to expect 10 days for the funds to become unfrozen in the future.


My plan didn’t quite work out like I intended.  It ended up saving me all of one swipe at Walmart!  But now I, and you, know what to expect if a transaction is ever cancelled after the fact with a Visa gift card.

This could also be an issue if a swipe doesn’t properly go through at Walmart or if a system crashed midway through your transaction.  So just keep this in the back of your mind!


Have you ever run into a similar situation?  Let me know if the comments.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. Very helpful article and was the only one ive been able to find with any sort of helpful information on the topic! Thank you for the reassurance as I thought I had lost my money! Hopefully itll come back within a week or two

  2. I had to cancel a order and now getting my refund is being an issue!!!! How long does it take for your refund take. Very frustrating. Waitron two to be exact!!! I will never use a Debit Visa Card again!!!!

  3. I tried shopping for clothes on SHEIN and ended up canceling my order. Requested a refund and they said they gave it to me in less than an hour, I go check to balance on my card and my money wasn’t refunded on it. So now I’m wondering if I need to wait or if I was ripped off. Help!

  4. I purchased items from Amazon but cancelled the order, it is for 133.95, that was on Oct 3rd, Amazon said they didn’t get the money and notified the Visa card that the order was cancelled yet it is now Oct 13 and the charge is still showing pending and I cannot talk to a live person anywhere. I need my money back but don’t know what to do, if anyone knows a number I can call please let me know. Amazon said they cannot help me because they didn’t take the money and informed them the order was cancelled but they won’t put they money back on my card, it’s still under pending.

      • I finally got my money refunded but it took them 20 days to get it back on my card!! I will never use a Walmart Visa gift card again nor purchase one as a gift for anyone, terrible service!

  5. i purchased from pandora with my visa card, and the order was canceled by the company, so then it says my card wasnt charged, but it was… What do i do i tried emailing pandora multiple times and calling and no answer.

  6. Hey buddy. Going through this now. Had a 100 dollar gifr card and was hoping to use it for Christmas presents since I got laid off! lol. This is awful. Sigh.

  7. Just a little tip I learned also, if you have a Visa gift card, create a paypal and link it to your PayPal, have someone else you are with create one to and attach their debit card to their PayPal before you do anything. After they link it, you can send them however much is on your card (minus the very small fee) via “friends and family” and they can receive it and will go directly into their bank account so you can then withdraw it! Works Everytime.

  8. I am currently dealing with the same situation, I used my card and had to cancel the payment not knowing about this issue. I was lucky enough to get it in 3 days but took me calling them multiple times. But with in 10 minutes of having my money back, I used the entire $100 and an hour later that transaction was canceled and refunded. So I’m now waiting for who knows how long to get my money back a 2nd time.

  9. This is what I do with all of the Visa or American Express gift cards_ I go online to Amazon and buy an amazon gift card. I’ve dealt with this pending transaction stuff one too many times and it is so frustrating. I get one of these for our work Christmas present every year and got so tired of trying to use it and it getting declined for no reason, then being out the money for ten days. If you buy an amazon e gift card for the amount remaining on the card you will get your e gift card in 5 minutes. You will then load it to your amazon account. From there you can basically buy whatever e giftcards you need from most stores or whatever you want from Amazon!

    • Good plan Erika. You can just reload your gift card balance with it too – no need to purchase the gift card and then redeem it. Cuts out a step for you.

  10. Last friday i got a walmart visa gift card and put 100$ on it. I then made a online purchase from a frequently used site for 99$. the payment went through but was apparently refunded to due to being flagged. i have no idea why it was flagged and it has not returned to the card nor has the pending -99$ transaction been removed. Does anyone have any advice?

    • Very helpful post, and comments…anyone know of a number that I can call with live people? The one commenter said he had called, and was refunded quickly, however, I can’t find a number that was not an automated system…any help would be appreciated!

  11. Thanks for your response! I’ll wait then. I didn’t want to go back to Wmt to draw attention to the fact it was a gc drain.

  12. I tried to load a VGC at Walmart and it declined and I used an alternate payment method. But the vgc was zeroed out. Is that normal? The Vgc balance showed the money already came out, not pending back came out. Walmart said to wait 5-7 days.

    • It usually drains from the account and then gets added back in when it shows the charge didn’t go through.

  13. This form of deprivation of consumers funds by prepaid card companies should be against the law! No business should be “borrowing” rightfully purchased finances from unbeknownst consumers!!! Its another form of Scamming!

  14. Hey do you think this would also work with MasterCard prepaid gift card I received one that had $315 on it and had been wanting to buy a Chromebook for school so I was researching a good affordable one in that range and found one I bought it or so I thought online and it said something like transaction cancelled and the money paid for was off my card so I emailed the company and asked about it I should’ve looked it up instead of doing that but anywho yeah just curious about that

  15. I bought a visa gift card and made a purchased online an then canceled my oder ..since its a gift card will my money go back on there??? says it non- reloadable

  16. Sorry to see you got caught in the costco/itunes mess….. Have encountered similar delays when transactions get cancelled at GiftCardMall…. have had them take well over a week to “drop off” — can be frustrating….. (esp. if near end of billing cycle) Yet have learned a few lessons along the way to try to minimize the cancelled orders at GCM.

    Yet speaking of GCM, I’m rather concerned about purchases I made there over two days ago — the Overstock and JCPenney gc deals. (which “worked” when combined with tcp portal payouts….) Ordinarily, on-line e-gift card purchases there get delivered within a few hours. This time, I later see it was scheduled for two days later (the 5th, that day now almost over)….. Anybody else having trouble with those gcm orders? (I only bought 3 of them — total.)

    • I didn’t catch that deal in time so can’t help you out :(. Hopefully someone else can chime in!

  17. One suggestion I have is to use personal Square account ( and convert into cash. The transaction fee is about 3% but all can be cashed without getting out of the house. Just my 2 cents.

  18. Just FYI – that 10-11 day timeframe likely has more to do with Costco than with the VGC. I’ve had cancelled Costco orders tie up my credit limit on regular credit cards for that long – no idea why the hold for a cancelled order from Costco lingers so long.

    The funds would almost certainly be returned far faster from other vendors.

    • Good point. I had wondered about that. I guess you can say 10-11 days is the worst case scenario then!

  19. Apple has cracked down lately on people buying iTunes gift cards in bulk to resell. They require many retailers to cancel multiple orders these days.

    • Could be. They said 2 per denomination was good so it shouldn’t have been a problem. Although Costco is hit or miss on GC orders for me to begin with!

  20. Hi. New to the Visa GC scene. Purchased $300 (1 #100 and 1 $200) during the Office Depot rush. Have been to Walmart twice (Oregon) with same answer – we don’t take Visa Gift Cards, must be bank issued? Has anyone had this experience? What am I doing wrong? Told them, but these are debit cards with a pin etc. No go. Thanks for your help!

    • It is store/cashier specific. I would suggest trying a different location in the area and don’t offer that they are VGC. Just say you want to pay for it with a debit card. Also no splitting the transactions may make people less curious if you are having issues.


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