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

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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.

Comments (94)

  • Idrive says:

    Wow! Good news! This doesn’t mean you can’t buy more from tomorrow,if you want to go on using them,right?

    • Rob says:

      Your account will be closed when you do this. You would need to open a new account.

  • Rich says:

    Fantastic news! I’ll try this route today. I have a couple remaining that have been activated, and dozens more that I’ve yet to activate.

    No sign of that email in my inbox though. Anyone know what the subject line was?

  • Lipton says:

    Does that mean I can buy a load today activate them and pay them back into my bank account ??

    • Andrew (@andrewseftel) says:

      In theory, yes. I would not personally do it unless I was otherwise happy to use the cards, or willing to work through the FOS complaints system, if it didn’t work.

    • Rob says:

      A little risky, to be honest!

  • squills says:

    South West Water still OK 😉

  • James Ward says:

    Wow – if only I’d known this sooner!! Just think how much we could have put through over the last two months! Nevertheless, this is a big relief. My dad and I had both got landed with over £1,000 each in 3V cards which we were intended to use to pay our tax bills.

  • Mark says:

    I suppose from this we can assume the limit was put in place as people were churning MORE than £25k worth. That would have been some serious miles!

    • Ron says:

      £25,000 worth of 3Vs looks like 180,000 avios once converted, purely from the bonus points, not accounting for other extras from the actual spend!

  • Jo says:

    Is this applicable for 3v accounts opened after 3rd jan?

    • Rob says:

      Good question. If they had updated their terms online by the date you registered, then technically you can’t do it as you have not seen your terms change. You could say you bought them before that but I assume that is trackable.

      • James Ward says:

        I’m pretty certain the date you bought them is trackable as the expiry date is the month in which you bought the card, not the month in which you registered it.

    • Jonny says:

      I doubt it – I’d imagine when signing up you accepted the terms and conditions in place at the time, i.e. the new t&c’s

  • Idrive says:

    I am getting a “Customer is suspended” message when trying to activate a new 3V card.

    The purchase date is indeed trackable and this is some 3v cards i bought in the past.

    I do not find this fair, I will complain to them in any case now because if I need to spend this money or else, I should be able to do so. They do not provide any explanation nor any communication has been sent to me

    anyone else in the same boat?

    • Andy says:

      open a new account with a different email address, then activate them through that account.
      I got that message on more than one occasion and just opened new accounts.

    • squills says:

      Yep their customer service is non-existent except on the ‘proving ID’ front. Don’t expect them to willingly help you out. I think they partially make their money this way, ie people give up, leaving money on the card.

      So yes: best to simply open another a/c as suggested.