GiftCardMall Visa Activation Issues, A BackDoor Link & “Gift-less” Designs

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giftcardmall visa gift card activation

GiftCardMall Activation Issues, BackDoor Link & Gift-Less Design

As I mentioned the other day, GiftCardMall has completely revamped their website. Along with the new design, they also lowered the maximum denomination on Visa gift cards from $500 all the way down to $250. This change really kills the viability of GiftCardMall for manufacturing spend.

Since the other day, there have been new activation issues, a backdoor link has surfaced and I finally found a design that doesn’t have the word “Gift” on it. (Although that is pointless now.) Lets dive in to find out the latest developments.

Back Door Link

In my post the other day, Carl shared a still working link to the old Visa gift card site with $500 Visas available. I haven’t tried ordering through it, but since this link doesn’t work with the portals, I don’t see any value in it. Still, some of you may want to place one last order, so I thought I would pass on the information.

New Activation System

I received an order of cards purchased about a week ago and tried to activate them yesterday. Unfortunately the activation website has been updated as well. Firstly, it requires that you login to activate the cards. Then it takes you to the following screen to enter the card information.

giftcardmall visa gift card activation

After clicking next, you are taken to another screen asking that you enter the activation code sent with the card. Apparently under their new system, the activation code will be printed behind the card and not on a separate mailer. Here is the screenshot:

giftcardmall visa gift card activation

The use of red lines and arrow is theirs and not mine. Unfortunately with the old cards, the number printed in that spot is the last four digits of the card number. Additionally, the four digit activation code that came in a separate mailer didn’t work either. Eventually after entering in the “wrong” activation code, my account was locked.

giftcardmall visa gift card activation

Besides having my account locked, this new “system” takes you to three screens where the old one did everything on the same screen. Additionally, you have to login as well. Talk about inefficiency. Thankfully I found an easy way to activate cards.

How to Activate

Since I know many of you probably purchased cards under the old system, I thought I would show you how to activate them without locking your account. You have two options:

Option 1: Call 1-866-357-7391 to activate with their automated system. This is how I activated my 10 cards before I discovered option 2. It took a total of 6 minutes to activate 10 cards.

Option 2: Much like the backdoor link above for the $500 cards, I have found a backdoor link for the activation site. Clicking here should bring you to the old version of the activation site where your codes should work.

Designs Without “Gift”

A few weeks ago I wrote about how GiftCardMall had started printing the word “Gift” prominently on cards. Pretty soon after that post, I placed an order for 10 cards, all with different designs. The goal was to test as many designs as possible to see if any of them were “Gift-less”.

While the results are pointless now considering the new website has hundreds of new designs, I thought I would share my findings. Here is a scan of the 10 cards. 9 of them have the word “gift” directly below the cardholders name, but one does not!

giftcardmall visa gift card activation

I know it might be hard to see, but only the candy cane design in the bottom left is without the word “gift”. Of course, this is all pointless now, but I thought I would share just for fun!


GiftCardMall’s new system has really made it impossible to manufacture spend efficiently, but I thought this one last post was warranted to help you avoid hassles when activating your cards purchased under the old system. If for some reason you still want to use the backdoor link to purchase Visa gift cards, consider the candy cane design if you want to avoid the word gift. Other than that, probably time to move on at this point.


  1. I tried to place an order through the back door link today and was denied on multiple occasions with different credit cards and it was not because of not having working credit cards. I didn’t even see the charges as “pending” on either cc. I found another site that sells cards that work for MS uploading to BB via WM kiosk but I’m not posting it. Would like to ride this last site until it gets shut down!

  2. I should have thanked you in the first place for writing about the backdoor ordering and activation site. I needed it to complete spend on a retention bonus on the Citi AA Business card, where attempted AGC purchase came through as cash advance and was declined due to zero CA limit. On Citi personal cards (DC, TY cards) AGC came through as purchases in May/June. Incidentally all my order history is only available at the backdoor site, not at the new site. Maybe they will transfer the data to new site in future, otherwise it would be quite unfriendly to lose order history from a merchant.

  3. Has anyone successfully received their order through the backdoor (old) website link? I placed a $3K order through TCB (which successfully tracked and is pending), but never received a confirmation order e-mail from GCM. Order Status through the old GCM account page still shows “Not Yet Shipped”. Order placed on 6/27.

    Just curious if anyone is actually receiving their orders through this link.

    • For my order on 6/30 I received order confirmation and shipping confirmation emails on 7/2 with a shipping date of 7/1, matches order status in the account. USPS priority mail tracking number shows in transit, expected delivery on 7/5.

      • Thanks Kroozer for the update — yes, I sent GCM customer service an e-mail yesterday asking when my order would ship as I had not received any order e-mails yet. I never received a response from them to my e-mail, however within an hour or so of sending the e-mail I received an order confirmation message. Later in the day I received shipping notifications for the cards themselves. Today in the mail I received the activation codes. 🙂

  4. Click through a portal to GCM, then copy paste the backdoor link in your browser and complete your purchase of $500 VGC. The transaction tracked thru TCB in a couple of hours and is pending now. In the same browser I show signed out on the main site and signed into my GCM account at the backdoor site.

  5. With the exception of buying Vanilla Reloads from a local grocery store and then a local gas station, the ease and efficiency of buying VGCs from GCM through TopCashBack was a solid alternative. Sadly, now that deal seems to be dead as well. VGCs at supermarkets are plentiful in my neck of the woods, but I’d prefer to have a backup when I need to meet minimum spend on those credit cards which only earn 1:1. Any suggestions Shawn?

  6. I recently got $3000 of the Duck cards to meet a minimum spend. They all had Gift on them. Used them all to reload my Redcard with a PIN at a regular checkstand at Target. None checked my ID or the cards. I did however have to all both employees through the process as they were not familiar with it. I’m also here in Vegas.

  7. Thanks for all the updates. Actually, I find GCM could still be very useful for one particular use: meeting minimum spend requirements. The math will still work out when meeting minimum spend, so even with the increases in delivery costs, etc., it’s still an excellent way to meet spend requirements from the comfort of your home.

  8. Doesn’t the math still make sense for those getting 3x at GCM with the Citi AT&T card? If I’m doing long division correctly it comes out to less than 0.05¢ per TYP.

  9. Thank you for this! I don’t actually mind that we can’t use the backdoor link through a portal. The convenience of ordering and having them delivered is still good for me.

    I wonder if the rubber duckie had ‘gift’ stamped on it?


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