Simon Visa Gift Cards
After about a three and a half year break, I recently returned to my local Simon outlet to buy gift cards. It was a surreal experience, and I bet I’m not alone here. The gift card kiosk is still in the food court, but the assisting Simon employees vacated their nearby area years ago. Now, consumers schlep gift cards from the kiosk down to the mall office to purchase them, or they just buy what’s already located within the office (notably, not every card type). Anyway, I’ve found the Simon workers in the office quite helpful since I’ve returned. Since restarting, I’ve had a few issue-free visits to buy cards. But my latest trip for Simon Visa gift cards ended with a trombone’s wah-wah. Today, I’m examining what happened and what the future may hold.
My Recent Issue Buying Simon Visa Gift Cards
On my latest trip, I planned to buy one packaged $500 and several $1k “loose” Simon Visa gift cards. The office rep’s system processed the $500 card without issue, and she moved on to the $1k cards. She tried a $1k card but was unable to load it. A few more times, she tried this same card with the same result. She attempted to load a few other loose cards but encountered the same issue each time.
At this point, I asked the employee what bank issues the loose cards. She mentioned Metabank, as I expected. Coincidentally, a local buddy in the hobby arrived to buy cards at this point. I asked when he last bought $1k cards, and he said the week prior. The employee confirmed that her experience with me is the first time she’s been unable to sell the loose cards.
Nonplussed, I thanked her for her help, advised that I’d follow up soon, and walked out of the office with my one $500 card.
After the Visit
In an email exchange later that same day, the helpful Simon employee confirmed that the $1k cards are no longer available for purchase. She didn’t provide any other info on $1k card matters.
In addition to the high denomination, many like the $1k Simon Visa gift cards for their low activation fees – normally $3.95. For those who like to minimize costs, need this particular spend, and have reliable means to use Simon Visa gift cards, they’ve been a great tool for years.
On the plus side, Simon still offers a variety of variable load cards (up to $500) with normal $3.95 fees and periodically runs promos discounting those fees. The employee let me know of an upcoming sale of new cards which they haven’t received yet. Check with your local outlet!
The Plot Thickens
I decided to do a bit more digging. Unfortunately and perhaps predictably, Simon appears to have closed my online account due to inactivity, and I’m unable to determine first-hand if $1k cards are still available for purchase online. But a Diamond member with access confirmed that he wasn’t able to find $1k cards available with Simon online.
A few days later, the same Diamond member recontacted me and mentioned he touched base with a Simon online rep. The rep advised that $1k cardsare currently available, but interested individuals need to reach out to restart this purchase option. Existing Simon online customers, take note!
I’m choosing to stay optimistic for now. It seems we’re in a transition period where Simon is starting to carry loose cards from a different issuer. Indeed, patience cures many of our challenges in the hobby, so hopefully that’s the situation here. Even if $1k cards permanently disappear (which doesn’t seem to be the case), we’ll still have viable options with the variable load cards. Sales will continue, but we may end up paying normal 0.8% fees instead of 0.4% now and then. How recently have you been able to buy $1k cards, either in-store or online?
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