One of the most popular articles ever published on this site was on 3V prepaid Visa cards, now rebranded (following a takeover of the issuing company) as Pay.com Gift Cards.
Available from Tesco, they are part of an ongoing offer of a bonus 150 Clubcard points (=360 Avios) for every £50 you spend on gift cards (excludes Tesco / Blinkbox branded gift cards).
Although you can benefit from this bonus on the majority of the gift cards Tesco sell, the Pay.com Gift Card is perhaps the most useful, as you aren’t so restricted in where you can use it. What you buy in the shop is not an actual Visa card, but a card with a code that you can use on the Pay.com web site. This code gets you a ‘virtual’ Visa card that you can then use online only.
The newly rebranded Pay.com Gift Card and the old 3V card
Tesco do also sell physical prepaid Visa cards that you can use both online and in shops etc. The disadvantage of these is that they add a fee when you buy the card. The £25 card ends up costing you £27.95 and the £50 card £53.95.
The beauty of the Pay.com card is that there is no fee added. The £25 card therefore costs you just the £25 value it holds. Unfortunately there is no £50 version available, so you would need to buy two cards to get the bonus Clubcard points for a £50 gift card spend.
One of the best ways of using the Pay.com cards is at Amazon. Simply buy a £25 gift voucher code to be emailed to yourself. Then redeem that in your Amazon account. You will then have a credit balance that any future purchases will deduct from. You can also use this method to “mop up” any spare balance you have left on a 3V card. Amazon’s site says the minimum amount you can buy is £1, but if you just click “other amount” it lets you put in any figure. I have bought 71p’s worth without any problem!
Pay.com cards cannot be used for most financial sites, but they seem to be accepted by most utility companies, TV licensing, etc. so could be used for paying off bills. You could of course also buy more gift cards! Sites like High Street Vouchers and Love2Shop accept them. This could result in the funny situation of you getting Clubcard points for buying the Pay.com card, then Nectar points for using the gift card you bought with it!
Following the takeover by Pay.com, cards have been in very short supply, as stocks of the old 3V cards were run down and not replaced. Thankfully the new format Pay.com cards are now appearing in shops and should be freely available again.
I would advise you not to buy any more than four Pay.com cards at one time, as Tesco’s IT can throw a wobbly if you try to buy too many at once! It can lead to cards not being activated properly at the checkout and a lot of hassle trying to get it sorted out at Customer Services.
More information on the Pay.com Gift Card can be found here.