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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)

  • joe says:


    I brought a few yesterday, do you think they will pay out on these if i email today?

  • JoshBosh says:

    Still on 3V, but off topic from the initial post.
    Has anyone tried using the 3V cards to pay off a holiday on BA? Pay the initial deposit with a credit/debit card, then do a heap of £25 payments with vouchers.
    Would BA flag this up as suspect?
    Is there a limit to the amount of cards that can be used?
    Can the 3V cards be used for paying in Euros?

    • pazza2000 says:

      Can 3V cards be used to pre-load a Paypal account (or even purchase via PayPal) without the tedious verification processes?

      • craig says:

        No, they can only be used as the payment card used to make paypal purchases, so you’d be limited in your item price to £25 max.

  • Me says:

    Just got the email saying I can do the redemption (Do not do this until you have the email)


    To Redeem funds from your 3V Gift Card Visa number:

    To redeem funds on a 3V Visa number to your bank account, you must first
    provide your bank account details to 3V online. You will need to get your account number
    in a 22-character format called the IBAN (International Bank Account Number) from your
    Bank or your account statement.

    Then login to “My 3V Account” on the 3V Gift Card website using your email address
    and personal password. On the Main Menu, click on the link to REVIEW OR CHANGE MY
    BANK DETAILS and input the IBAN and save the change.

    From the Main Menu, click on “Manage my 3V Visa Numbers” to see a list of
    your 3V Visa numbers. To redeem the funds on a 3V Visa number click on the REDEEM / TRANSFER
    link opposite that Visa number. On the next screen, click on the first option to redeem your 3V Visa
    number and then follow the instructions.

    3V processes redemption requests every Monday morning. The funds will be transferred from our bank account two working days later.
    You should expect to see the funds in your bank account by one week after the balance on the
    3V Visa number has been reduced to zero.

    Please note that you can only redeem Gift Cards that are active and have not been used.

    This will only apply for Gift Cards that were purchased before 3rd of Jan 2014.

    We sent the email out to our customers about the change in Terms and Conditions on 3rd of Jan 2014.
    We have given our customers 60 days for free redemption under these circumstances.
    Free redemption offer for active, unused Gift Cards will end 60 days after this notification was sent.
    Please ensure that you have correct bank details on your account.

    This offer will end today at 17.00 GMT. Any redemption request after 17.00 GMT today will be charged as normal.

    Once you have added your bank account details and put redemption requests through, please let us know via email so that we can notify our Financial department and they will then waive the redemption fee.

    • Idrive says:

      so, practically. it doesn’t apply to anything bought after 03/01…

      • Me says:

        But it has been working!

        So proceed with Caution

        • Idrive says:

          you say it has been working

          Have you had the refund on your account yet with no redemption fee?
          I too got the email you quoted …

          the email clearly reports this wording:

          “The free redemption will apply only for cards that were purchased before 3rd of Jan 2014”.

    • Mark says:

      When it says “have not been used” does that mean not fully used (obviously!) or only cards with the full, original £25 balance?

    • Mark says:

      How long did it take them to respond? If we put in a request by email today they are obliged to honour the terms even if they don’t respond in time for us to put through an online redemption request today?

      • Mark says:

        To answer my own question they responded in about 25 mins…

        • Boi says:

          whats the email address to writes to? and what do you people say?

  • pazza2000 says:

    Can 3V cards be used to pre-load a Paypal account (or even purchase via PayPal) without the tedious verification processes?

    • James Holdcroft says:

      You can’t pre-load a PayPal account with funds from 3V. You can register a 3V card with PayPal for use in future purchases, and they will do a $1 (about 63p) test transaction that will go away after a few days (so you can’t spend the full £25 right away). You can optionally verify the 3V card at PayPal, in which case a further £1 will be debited to the card and £1 will be credited to your PayPal account.

      • Mark says:

        The test transactions are a complete pain. I didn’t realise about the optional verification. Does that mean that the test transaction isn’t then made against any further transactions on that card? If so that presumably does effectively solve the issue for transactions > £1.

        • James Holdcroft says:

          The $1 test transaction is only when you register the card with PayPal, not when you try to buy something with it. Verification is a separate process that I think allows you to buy certain types of things that would not otherwise be allowed. I used to always verify, but I find it unnecessary now.

          • Mark says:

            OK. I hadn’t realised that as I haven’t been registering the cards with paypal, just entering the details each time (on the basis that it was pointless registering a load of cards with a limited balance).

  • Me says:

    They are telling me that ones after 3rd of Jan are ineligible.

  • Gordon says:

    Does anyone know when the £25K limit kicks in? is it for new activity starting from now in the next 12 months or is it retrospective? is it a rolling 12 months?

    • Idrive says:

      i think it is from now on. As accounts are suspended after 1625 activation

  • Thanks Raffles.

    Entered the last few cards on thier site, updated my bank details on the site with the IBAN – found on the top of my RBS statement – and sent off the email to customer services.

    Fingers crossed!

  • Mark says:

    Any thoughts on partially used cards? The email says you can redeem unused cards only free of charge, but I’m not quite sure what that means… if as Raffles suggests above, the account will be closed what happens if you have (partially) unused balances on other cards which haven’t been redeemed?

    • James Holdcroft says:

      And what if you have refunds due that are still yet to be applied, or test transactions that are still yet to be reversed?