How to consolidate your prepaid payment cards

· 437 words · 3 minutes read Life hack

Have you ever found yourself stuck with various $10 prepaid credit cards, not knowing how to spend them? You can’t combine cards for a single payment and you end up with small change on each card. I found a solution to get the value from all those cards onto my bank account.

During my search on the web, I didn’t find a resource describing a solution. I hope to fill this gap with this article!

Writing reviews for $10

Over the past few months, I’ve written a couple of reviews on websites that award gift cards, such as Capterra and G2. They’re for services that we use at Sutori and Enzo, so each review only takes me a couple of minutes to write. In exchange, they award you $10 in the form of an Amazon gift card or a prepaid Visa card.

I’ve always chosen the prepaid Visa card because I don’t want to be forced to buy only on Amazon. I soon ran into two problems though:

  • Online merchants can’t split a payment across multiple cards. This means that I can’t combine more than one card to make purchases above $10.
  • I ended up with small change on each card. If I buy an item for $9.50, I’m then stuck with $0.50 left on that card. Good luck finding an item that costs less than $0.50, including shipping.

I was hopeful when I read that it was possible to consolidate credit cards with Google Wallet. Unfortunately, that service was discontinued in 2015.

So I had to find another solution to spend the money on the prepaid cards without restrictions.

Consolidating the cards with Stripe

The best solution I came up with was to pretend to be a merchant and purchase imaginary products from myself. For that, I created an account on Stripe, a payment processor that enables merchants to receive payments online. Using Stripe’s web interface, I created payments using the prepaid cards to my Stripe account.

The account is linked to your bank account and after you receive a payment, Stripe automatically transfers the amount to your bank account.

They take a small fee of $0.59 for each $10 payment, but that’s a small price to pay to fully unlock the value on the prepaid cards.

Note that you can probably apply a similar trick with PayPal. We use Stripe at Sutori and since I’m familiar with the interface, it didn’t take me long to set up.

Conclusion

With a simple trick, I managed to get the value from all my prepaid cards onto my bank account while losing only a little bit on fees.