A good run: AAA Visa gift card axe falls

I periodically write about AAA Visa gift cards: they're cheap (or free); they're PIN-enabled and thus easily liquidated; and they're available in many, though not all, parts of the country.

For those with access to AAA branches selling Visa gift cards, the problem has always been one of volume: those who bought and liquidated too many Visa gift cards in too short of order were inevitably and permanently blocked from buying any more. I thought I had avoided that outcome by buying slow but steady amounts at regular intervals.

Until yesterday, when I went into a local branch and was told, politely but firmly, that I needed to call Metabank to find out why I wouldn't be allowed to buy any more gift cards.

Back in January I wrote about new purchase limits in my AAA region:

"If the new limit is instead designed to slow people down so their accounts can be blacklisted before they can reach the total purchase numbers that were previously possible, it'll be a net negative."

That now appears to be prescient. After a single, $1,000 purchase under the new limits, my account was immediately blacklisted for future purchases.


During the periodic fee-free promotions, typically around graduation and the winter holiday season, I still think those who haven't yet been blacklisted should consider loading up on PIN-enabled AAA Visa gift cards. If you can then liquidate the whole haul over the course of 3 or 4 hours, you can still make off with a nice profit before your account is flagged.

But as far as I'm concerned, AAA Visa gift cards are no longer a viable avenue for consistent manufactured spend.