Last night I was perusing Twitter as I sometimes do when I get bored. I came across this Tweet:
Going through my old gift cards and charging them all to my Square account. Hardest part is figuring out the remaining balance on each.
— Dan Guido (@dguido) March 7, 2012
After reading it, I realized I have had three gift cards (two Visa and one Amex) sitting in my wallet for quite some time. They haven’t done me much good, though, as I could never remember how much was actually on them. So, I never used them…
With the new realization that the Square card reader/app could be used to deposit the funds of those gift cards directly into my bank account, I set out to find the free Square credit card reader I had received about a year ago. Only problem is that I’ve moved since I received it, and had no clue where the heck it was.
Fortunately it only took about five minutes of searching, and I found the card reader! Then I realized I hadn’t linked my Square account to my bank account, which might be useful if I ever wanted the funds to actually hit my bank account.
Oops… Forgot my password. So, after visiting Square’s help page about password resets (https://help.squareup.com/customer/portal/articles/7726-i-forgot-my-password), I followed the process and got into my account. Then I followed Square’s instructions on how to link my bank account (https://help.squareup.com/customer/portal/articles/11837-how-do-i-link-my-bank-account-) and after entering in all the required information, I was set to begin swiping my cards!
Or so I thought… I realized two things:
- I didn’t remember how much was on each card. Fortunately, somewhere on each card was the website and/or telephone number where I could go to look up the amounts/balance. After a quick trip to each card’s website, I knew how much I had on each card.
- Since I haven’t had any real use for Square, I didn’t have it installed on my iPhone. I quickly opened the App Store on my iPhone and searched for “Square.” A couple taps later and I had the Square app installed. (For those of you that are lazy/want the shortcut, here’s the App Store link: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/square/id335393788?mt=8)
I plugged the Square card reader, opened the Square app, entered my username/password, and was brought to the Square payment screen. Here I entered the amount on each card and filled in the description of what the card was, like so:
After swiping all three of my cards, I received confirmation emails telling me the three different transactions had gone through! Now all I have to do is wait until later tonight to see if the funds get deposited from my Square account into my bank account!
Note: Square does charge a 2.75 percent fee on all transactions. So, it does devalue your gift cards by a little bit. I’d say 2.75 percent is a little steep, but to be able to convert these to cash in less than 24 hours is pretty awesome.
If you’re interested in potential free/no-fee ways to convert gift cards to cash, see Clark Howard’s video/blog about the subject here: http://www.clarkhoward.com/videos/clark-howard/shopping-retail/convert-gift-cards-cash/vLP/)