How to redeem any 3V cards you still hold for free (today only!)

Last year, buying 3V Virtual Visa cards from Tesco was very profitable.  For £50, you got £50 of Visa gift cards.  Tesco also gave you 150 bonus Clubcard points and (if you had an Amex sign-up bonus to meet) you got to spend £50 on your Amex card at Tesco.  You could then liquidate your 3V cards by paying them into certain bank accounts or paying your tax or council tax bills.

Back in December, 3V suddenly stopped letting people use their cards for ‘financial’ transactions.  This left some people holding large stocks which were now trickier to use up.  It also made them less attractive to buy.

(Click on ‘3V’ under ‘Head for Points Posts By Category’ in the right hand menu if you want to read more about 3V.)

If you are still sitting on some 3V cards, help may be at hand – but you must act today.

On January 3rd, 3V sent an email to all registered customers which looked like this:

3V email

It outlined the changes to the regulatory regime governing 3V cards.  It also placed a limit on the number of cards you could buy in a year of £25,000.

These changes amounted to a change in the terms and conditions governing 3V cards.  Clause 8.3 of the Terms and Conditions for 3V cards states with regard to changes to their terms and conditions:

“If You are not happy with any such change to these Terms and Conditions, You may, without notice, within sixty (60) days of the date of notice of such change, cancel Your 3V Visa Number and terminate this Agreement. In such cases, You will not be subject to any Redemption Fee in accordance with Clause 6.”

Basically, you must act TODAY (4th March, which is 60 days from the date of that email) if you want 3V to reimburse you for your entire balance of 3V cards, with no redemption fees.

3V is already doing this for people.  (They have no choice, it is in the rules!).  Importantly, it does NOT just apply to cards you had bought before January 3rd.  Even cards bought after that date can be refunded.

You need to email 3V Customer Services.  They are giving people two different routes:

They may ask for the 4-digit security code of each of your 3V cards and the IBAN number of your bank account.  (IBAN is the global ID number for your bank account.  It should be printed on your bank statement or will be visible via online banking.  It is required for wiring money from outside the UK.)  Once done, you will receive your money within 7 days.

Alternatively, they may ask you to register all your cards online.  They will then, once you confirm it is done, trigger a redemption for you without adding the fee.

I apologise for the very short notice here, but I have only just found out about this option myself.

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  1. Please remember if you take this to the Financial Ombudsmen , they will be fined £500 no matter what they rule.

    If they don’t budge mention the financial ombudsmen, this can work wonders!

    • Mark B says:

      With respect surely this can’t be right, they would have to have done something wrong, which incidentally I think they have

      • This is 100% correct

        The FOS was originally set up to provide a speedy and cheap way to resolve disputes between financial companies and their customers without having to go to court. Anyone who has reached deadlock in a dispute with a bank, insurance company or other finance firm, can apply for independent arbitration. The firm is bound by the FOS’s findings and has to pay a £500 fee (£850 for PPI cases) for every complaint.

  2. I just got a response back saying partially used cards weren’t included in their “offer”. I’m pretty sure that’s breaking their own terms and conditions, but I’d already decided to use up the partial credits on amazon vouchers to avoid any debate, given it only totalled about £14 anyway.

    Redemption requested on the two completely unused cards I had. Thanks Raffles!

  3. Susan says:

    Has anyone had any success using 3V for EDF bills recently?

    • Yes- did 4 last week.

    • What's the Point says:

      Make sure you select visa, not visa debit on the EDF payment page.

      • Susan says:

        Hmm, just tried that and it refused it. Where it asks for name,do you put the name registered to the 3v account?. Trying to do this via MyAccount on EDF.

  4. Damn, one of the few days I pick up my emails late in the day. I have emailed 3V to inform them I wish to redeem some cards but am conscious that it is past the 1700 hrs deadline. What do you think my chances are of being successful? Ultimately I have still notified them of my intention prior to the 60 day deadline has expired just after the new 1700 hrs cut off. Interestingly the email I received in Jan arrived later than 1700 hrs.

    • Mark B says:

      If you complain you might be successful as a 5pm deadline was not originally stated just 60 days

  5. pazza2000 says:

    Little OT; I signed up my Uber account with a 3V, I have promo credit on my the account although have heard that they may authorise £40 at time of ordering, if this is £40 on top of the account credit then I guess the 3V card won’t cover it & I’ll be denied the service at point of order! I don’t suppose anyone has any insight or experience with this??

    • Idrive says:

      It should be fine, how can they know the fare before travel? Be careful as the service can cost 2x or more at busy times and you will easily go over 40 depending on time distance and traffic. But in this case if you have a£20 credit your trip should cost no more than 45 in total.The other case is airports with fixed prices in that case it would be clear in advance.

      I recall Uber authorising £30for a £50 trip on my Amex.

      • pazza2000 says:

        Surely if they authorise £30 (or more than £25) against the 3V then it will fail, and Uber won’t allow you to use their service? I hope it’s fine although it would be a little lax of Uber to not have some kind of a safeguard.

  6. Dominic says:

    There is another way that still seems to work to redeem these. If you go to you can order any number of loads of £25 gift vouchers for Sainsbury, Waitrose, Amazon, Asda, etc etc etc. I’ve never had a problem using a 3V card to pay for a £25 order of vouchers. Postage is free on the order, so you absolutely get back £25 worth of credit with your store of choice.

    • Just don’t do too many in one go. I got 35/40 purchases refused when I tried to buy 40x £25 JL vouchers in a short space of time.

  7. On a side note – It seems the Tesco spend £50 on non Tesco gift cards and get 150 clubcard offers seems to have finished as I don’t see that promo sign near the giftcards. Can anyone confirm?

  8. Just got this e-mail from 3V, reckon I’ll be OK to set up a new account as this is how I like to use up my Tesco helping hand coupons:

    Regarding your request to avail of the free redemption offer, please be advised that your redemptions are now in progress. Our Finance department will waive these fees on this occasion.

    Please be advised that as you have not accepted the updated Terms and Conditions, we have now suspended your account and you will no longer be able to activate any new Gift Cards on this account.

    If you have any other queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to email us again.

  9. What's the Point says:

    Has anyone tried going over the £2,000 yearly limit on the VISA fee cards that you can buy in £25 or £50 denominations?

    • An easy way to get around the £2,000 yearly limit is not to register them on the gospendit website, they can be paid into NS&I without being registered.

      • Idrive says:

        I thought you needed to register them for online use. Otherwise what name would they match in any case?

        • That is what I would have thought also, a name and / or address would need to match but for NS&I that isn’t the case, I paid 2 cards in on Saturday without registering them.

        • What's the Point says:

          A most interesting option indeed! I’ll give it a go next time I pick one up.
          Thanks for the tip.

  10. Any received there Money from this?

    Any Idea how long it takes?

    • Neither my dad nor I have received our refunds yet. 3V said they would be processed on Monday. s they’re being transferred using the international bank account number (IBAN) I’m expecting the transfer to take a few days from then

    • Singing Dwarf says:

      Hi Joe, I was the reader who alerted Raffles to this ‘anomaly’ in the 3V terms and conditions (which incidentally, I note they still have not updated on their website!).

      3V process the redemption requests every Monday and the funds are transferred from their bank account two days later. They say that the funds should appear in your bank account eight business days after the redemption was processed (i.e. by the following Thursday), but the funds appeared in my account the following Tuesday.

      If you applied on the 4th March in response to Raffles post, I would expect them to have processed the request last Monday. Assuming that they did actually manage to process all of the requests on Monday(!), I would expect to see the funds in your bank account anytime from tomorrow until Thursday.

      • HI,

        I have emailed them and they have stated:

        The redemption has been requested and will be processed on Monday, March 17th.

        You might receive your funds within following 8 working days.

        Even though I had confirmation saying that my redemptions were being processed. (Sent 6 March)

        I have looked at my 3v account and can see this:

        17/03/2014 3V ONLINE Customer redeemed voucher. Approval

  11. I found that allowed 3V cards for the first 2-3 Asda giftcards I bought then after that they rejected them, have now given up on that avenue.

    • They rejected one of mine some time ago, so I thought that avenue was closed, but it was just that 3V card – subsequent ones were fine. So no need to give up – I used it as recently as two days ago with no problems.