These Visa gift cards with no activation fees can help you save in 2024

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In the past, giving gift cards for birthdays and holidays was frowned upon, but nowadays, we eagerly check every birthday card to see if there might be one inside. While you can find gift cards for almost any store, game, or activity, Visa gift cards are the most versatile option in the gift card market.

If you’re someone who likes to give Visa gift cards to your loved ones, then you know that the activation fees on prepaid cards can be a bit of a hassle. If you’re buying multiple gift cards for different people, these fees can add up and become quite costly.

However, there are some Visa gift cards available that don’t have any activation fees. By choosing one of these cards, you can save yourself some money and still give your friends and family the gift of choice.

Visa Gift Card options with no activation fees

Online shopping continues to grow exponentially, yet many Visa gift cards, such as Vanilla Visa with its various benefits, still come with activation fees, even the digital versions. Nonetheless, a few select places provide Visa gift cards without these fees.

Navy Federal Credit Union

Navy Federal Credit Union provides Visa gift cards for its members. These cards are available from $10 to $500 for physical cards and $10 to $200 for digital ones.

The funds on these cards never expire, so you won’t lose your money if you forget about them in your wallet. Plus, you can use them with mobile wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

You can purchase these gift cards online or at a local branch using cash, a Navy Federal Debit Card, or a Navy Federal Credit Card.

Republic Bank

Republic Bank provides its customers with fee-free Visa gift cards, available in denominations ranging from $25 to $1,000. These non-reloadable cards can be used worldwide wherever Visa is accepted.

To acquire one of these fee-free Visa gift cards from Republic Bank, simply visit a nearby branch location.

Handy hint:

If you’re struggling to find a card without an activation fee, remember that most Visa gift cards typically have an activation fee ranging from $3 to $5. However, this fee allows recipients to purchase whatever they desire or require. So, investing a small amount in the activation fee could ensure your gift is truly useful and appreciated.

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Stop by & ask your local financial institutions

Some local banks or credit unions may not list all their services online. Smaller institutions might provide Visa gift cards without activation fees, but this information may not be readily available. To find out, simply contact or visit your local branch and inquire about the types of gift cards they offer, if any.

Handy hint:

Keep an eye on businesses for promotions all year round. For instance, Staples often reduces fees on their Visa gift cards periodically.

Consider a Visa Prepaid Card

In the past, many banks and businesses provided Visa gift cards without activation fees. Nowadays, they mostly offer Visa prepaid cards instead. While these prepaid cards, such as NetSpend’s Prepaid Cards, differ from gift cards, they often don’t come with activation fees. However, they may have monthly fees that vary since they’re designed for multiple uses rather than just one-time use.

Depending on your needs, these prepaid cards could be a better option compared to gift cards, especially if you need to be a member of specific banks to obtain fee-less gift cards.

Other ways to gift without fees

If you’d like to avoid fees or even save money, there are several alternative ways to give your gift.

  • Cash creativity: Give cash in a fun, creative way.
  • Discounted gift cards: Purchase store or restaurant-specific gift cards in bulk from warehouse stores like Costco or Sam’s Club for discounts.
  • Holiday deals: Take advantage of holiday promotions from retailers and restaurants to buy discounted gift cards.
  • Digital transfers: Use apps like Cash App, Venmo, or Paypal to send money with a personalized message attached, like a unique or funny message.
  • Maven’s gift guides: Explore Maven’s Gift Guides for unique gift ideas tailored to different interests, such as gifts for kids, delightful body washes, or presents for baking enthusiasts.
  • Great return policies: Opt for gifts from stores with excellent return policies, ensuring the recipient can easily exchange or return items they don’t love.

The bottom line

While Visa gift cards without activation fees can save you money initially, additional expenses such as sales tax or replacing a lost card may still apply. To ensure your gift-giving is truly economical, carefully review all terms and conditions before making a decision.