USPS Now Auto Declines Gift Cards
Yesterday Vinh at Miles per Day broke the news that the United States Postal Service (USPS) had sent out a memo warning about gift card use for money orders. It was an explicit memo that said USPS workers were to stop anyone from using gift cards going forward. It stated that all cards must have the person’s name on them and to be extra cautious if it did not have a chip. The memo also said an update would be coming out stopping gift cards at the point of sale (POS). Essentially the system would do the job soon enough.
Since this is a government run operation everyone thought this would take a while to roll out. Well the government was super efficient this time around and the wildfire spread nationwide. The POS system is now rejecting gift cards.
I bought a Vanilla Visa last night at CVS to try to punch through another money order or two. I only purchased one in case there were issues during conversion. My plan was to buy more once I confirmed it still worked.
When I went to the post office the employee did not ask to see the card and I thought great, business as usual. When I did the swipe I was informed that I could not use a credit card. My heart sank since I knew I was dead in the water at that point. I said it was a debit card and did another swipe out of good measure but the inevitable happened…denied again.
I then turned to our Facebook group looking for similar data points and got a few confirming the same thing in other areas. Then DDG alerted me to this post on Reddit and I knew it had spread nation wide. They must have run a system update/patch last night since people were reporting success yesterday.
I guess when you count on the government’s inefficiency it ends up burning you. The one time I wish they took their sweet time rolling something out they do it with lightning quickness. The USPS should have some shorter lines going forward at least.
As the avenues for increasing spend continue to dry up we need to be more diligent and more creative. As a door closes a window usually opens. The question remains what window will it be? Oh, and figuring out how I want to drain this $500 gift card now…
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