party magician in DallasSo, we got a few gift cards recently. American Express gift cards, to be exact. And the problem is that AE charges merchants more than V/MC charge and so, it makes finding a merchant that accepts AE a little more challenging. Then what happens if you find an online place and they take PayPal or whatever, so AE is accepted. Well, if you have a gift card, it will be declined if you don’t do the little magic “trick” you learn later in this post. Additionally, when it gets declined, you’ll have a $1 or $.99 charge (reducing the value of your gift card.) When you go to to check the value, you’ll see the charge and have an “AVS” fee (Address Verification.) It will get removed after 8 days.

So, how do you keep from getting declined? Here it is:

Look on the back of your gift card.
Call the 800 number.
Enter the card number.
Push the button that states something about having “Other” issues.
Then press “0” for operator.
Tell the live person that you want to register your name and address for the gift card. They will verify your possession of the card. Next they will ask for your name (spell it like you will online), address (same address as you use online), and that should fix you up to use it online or with PayPal.

Now get out there and spend them there (sic)  gift cards.

And if you happen to feel particularly charitable, you can always use it with my PayPal. This birthday party magician can always use an extra few bucks for the next magic trick!