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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)

  • andy says:

    This is getting hazy. According to their CURRENT T.&C.’s
    6.1 (c) states “A Redemption Fee of three pounds and fifty pence (£3.50) will be charged for each redemption unless the redemption is requested within twelve (12) months after the Expiry Date”
    So that would mean that as of today you can still purchase 3V’s and redeem them through the company at no cost.
    Or am I missing something here?

    • James Holdcroft says:

      By that time, you’ll already have paid £8 in Account Maintenance Fees:

      A fee of two pounds (£2) per month will be deducted from the Available Balance in each calendar month, starting from the ninth (9th) calendar month following purchase of the relevant 3V Gift Card.

  • Me says:

    Any positive answers yet?

    • Mark says:

      I’ve asked the question re partially used balances. No answer as yet, but there is no mention in the terms and conditions of fee free refunds applying only to unused cards I don’t see how they can treat them any differently, and it would be a reasonable interpretation of the email that they are talking about remaining unused balance.

      That said, if it’s small amounts then buying up a few Amazon e-vouchers today with those partially unused balances may be the safer route to avoid any debate.

      • Me says:

        How about gift cards brought in the last 60 days?

        I received an email saying they do not qualify for free redemption.

        Although the terms and conditions do not state anything about when they were purchased neither.

        • TimS says:

          I think the rationale is that cards bought after 3rd Jan were purchased under the new T&Cs and therefore don’t qualify for the free redemption.

          The free redemption is only really for those people who purchased under the old T&Cs and are not willing to accept the new T&Cs.

          If you purchased 3V cards under the new T&Cs you are deemed to have accepted them at the time of purchase, so no free redemption.

          • FormalHall says:

            Yes, but if the account is closed completely after you request the redemption, I can’t see how they can justifiably differentiate between card purchase dates.

            Sent an email at 11.30am today and no reply yet, so not sure if I will be able to use this route.

  • thepearce says:

    Hmm. Getting very close to the deadline and no reply to my email yet. (Deliberate or swamped?).

    Are people going to go for it on the basis of the emails to others?

    • thepearce says:

      Well as much as sounds “easy” to cash out in this way I only have a few left so I think I’ll do some more Amazon (buy a voucher and then credit it to my account). It’ll keep for 10 years and it won’t take me anywhere near that to spend it.

      • Rob says:

        Do consider using my Amazon affiliate link if you do this ! Thanks !

        • thepearce says:

          I got an email just after posting which I saw about 30 mins later…so managed to finish about 16:55.

  • Me says:

    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

      • Joe says:

        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.

        http://www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jul/06/financial-ombudsman-swamped-ppi-complaints

  • Mark says:

    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!

  • Susan says:

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

    • Rich says:

      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.

        • What's the Point says:

          Yes, use the name that is registered on the 3V card account. Not sure it needs to match the name on the EDF account.

  • Pid says:

    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

  • 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.