In this guide, we’ll walk you through what to do if you have lost a gift card.
We’ll show you how to replace it and how to get your money back if it has been stolen and used.
While it can be nerve-wracking to lose an unredeemed gift card, replacing it is as easy as 1-2-3.
If you think you may have fallen victim to a gift card scam, read our guide to gift card scams. It will help you figure out what to do.
How to get a lost gift card back
Before we begin, you have to keep in mind that there are no 100% guarantees that you will be able to get your gift card back.
If you have lost your gift card, try retracing your route first to see if it is simply misplaced. If that doesn’t work, you can now take things to the next level by having it replaced.
Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Find the gift card number
The gift card number can usually be found on the back of the physical card. But you don’t have that, do you?
Here are other ways to find your gift card number:
- Find it on the activation receipt: When a gift card is bought, it needs to be activated before itcan be used. When this is done, the gift card number is recorded on the activation receipt. This will be at the bottom of your purchase receipt or on a small seperate receipt. Try to find this receipt.
- Find the purchase receipt: If you cannot find the activation receipt, try to find the purchase receipt instead. This will give you the date of purchase, the time, the amount on the card, and a portion of the gift card number.
- Check your email: This is your best option if you ordered the gift card online. Even if you do not find the gift card number here, you will have proof of the transaction.
- Check for a partial redemtion: Have you ever used the lost gift card before? You are in luck. The company will usually have a record of the purchase along with the gift card number. If you bought something online, try to see if you can get the site’s purchase form to autofill the gift card number you previously used. If not, contact the companyto see if they have a record of your last gift card purchase.
- Ask whoever gave you the gift card: They will usually have all the information you need. Try and weigh the pros and cons of doing this before you do because some people may take offense that you lost a gift they gave you.
- Make do with the information you get: Can’t find the gift card number anywhere? You are less likely to get the lost gift card back, but you still have a shot. Get the activation data, any purchase data, and any transaction info you have for the gift card and proceed to step 2.
Step 2: Contact the gift card vendor
Reach out to whoever issued the gift card by calling or emailing their customer service number.
You will likely have to do a little bit of back and forth with them because a lot of gift card scammers reach out to them a lot, too. You have to prove that you are the true gift card owner before you can get any assistance.
Here’s what to do:
- Provide all the information you have on the lost gift card. Then explain how you lost the gift card
- Find out if the gift card has been used.
- If the gift card has not been used, ask to cancel it and get a replacement card. You may have to pay a replacement fee.
- If the gift card has been used, then it means it is stolen, not lost. Ask where and when the card was used. This may give you some clues as to who used it. Please not that merchants do not have to replace stolen gift cards. However, if the theft is part of a bigger fraud issue, they might replace it.
- If you bought the gift card from a store, you may have to contact the store first. They will give you information about the gift card’s activation as well as the gift card number. You can then contact the gift card issuer to find out whether or not the card has been used.
Step 3: Contact your bank
This step is more of a last resort step that you’d take if the gift card vendor is not giving you the assistance you want.
If you purchased the gift card with a credit or debit card, contact your bank.
Explain the situation to them and ask if they have a replacement option for lost or stolen merchandise.
What to do if your gift card was lost or stolen in the mail
File a complaint with USPS or the shipping company that was used.
Follow the steps above to find out if your card was used.
If it has not been used, contact the gift card issuer and ask for a cancellation and replacement.
If it has been used, inform the gift card issuer and your local authorities.
You likely will not get compensated for the card but you may help prevent other people from going through the same thing.
However, sometimes, your efforts may expose a bigger fraud syndicate. In such cases, you are likely to be reimbursed.
How NOT to lose a gift card
The most important part of the gift card is the gift card number. Safeguard this and you will never have to worry about a lost gift card again.
Here are a few precautions to take to so as not to lose a gift card:
- Keep your gift card with your credit and debit cards. Your gift card is like money, so store it in the same way. Preferably in your wallet.
- Redeem the gift card as soon as you can. The faster you use it, the less likely you are to lose it.
- Send and ask to be given eGift cards. This way, there will always be a record of them in your email.
- Record the gift card number. You can write it down on a piece of paper or record it in your notepad.
- Take a photo of the gift card. Even better than recording the gift card number is taking a picture of the gift card. Make sure that the customer support number and the PIN are clearly visible in the pictures.
- Use an app or mobile wallet. Enter the gift card into an app to store it electronically. This way, you will be able to use it without the physical card.
- Register the gift card with the issuing company. For example, you can add your Amazon gift card to your Amazon account. This way, they will always have a record of your gift card details even if you lose the physical card.
- Save the activation receipt from your purchase. If you are giving the gift card to someone as a gift, make sure to give them the activation receipt as well.
Do you want to know what an easy fix for lost or stolen gift cards is? eGift cards. You can send and receive them via email, making them easy to track and harder to lose.
Have you ever lost and found a gift card? What did you do to find it? And have you ever had a gift card get stolen from you? What was your experience? Please let us know in the comments.