Posted by William Charles on June 25, 2019
Manufactured Spending

Published on June 25th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Happy Gift Card Terms Now Exclude Gift Card Purchases

In July of last year MetaBank released a new line of gift cards called ‘Happy’, there are different versions of this card that can be used at specific retailers. Recently MetaBank added new terms to the cards stating:

Card not usable to buy gift cards or pay prior debts

This is not actually hardcoded currently, but obviously individual cashiers could enforce these terms (as they are found on the back of cards). It’s also possible MetaBank are waiting a set period of time to use up the old cards before hardcoding this new language.

Hat tip to DDG



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Julie
Julie

No surprise

Catapult
Catapult

Too bad this didn’t last long. Need to unload my current stock of Happy GCs asap. Thanks for the heads up, Doc

MrObvious
MrObvious

If it is indeed going to be enforced, then actually lasting a year in the current environment is a pretty long time.

rick b
rick b

so what was the top secret play here? Where are people buying some kind of cash equivalents at some of these merchants?

Sapien
Sapien

3rd Party GCs at Home Depot (Happy Guy) or at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (Happy Lady). Seems like this will still work though as there has been no change in hard-coding against these 3P GC purchases, YMMV.

rick b
rick b

I’m intrigued by the terms banning the payment of co-branded credit cards. Wonder if that was possible to do inside the stores.

Celia
Celia

I bought tons of gift cards at the aforementioned Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond as well as talking advantage of Panera’s buy $50 get $10 with the Happy Eats cards. Never had an issue. Only have one left but the run was good while it lasted.

Debit
Debit

How would they hardcode it?

Eric
Eric

To avoid losing money to gamers.

Information Booth
Information Booth

Lol… that’s not how… that’s why. In your opinion… of course. John 3:16

Jerry
Jerry

How so?

PG
PG

I believe they would have to code each card against each relevant gc but I’d hate to be left holding a bunch of these w/o any good liquidation avenue.

David
David

Block happy bins from being used to purchase gcs

Steve

That’d be at each store’s end, not the card issuer’s end, right? Seems a little unlikely, but I guess it’s possible.

Mimi
Mimi

^^THIS^^ is how they can block purchases of GCs….IF THEY WANT TO. The 1st 6 digits of BIN will do it.

Barry
Barry

Happy Cards only have a magnetic stripe. Maybe they could change the payment system to require chipped credit cards for the purchase of gift cards.

Mimi
Mimi

I have yet to see GCs that have magnetic strips in a year or so.

Mimi
Mimi

I meant chipped GCs like CCs.

David
David

So how do we get cashiers to allow us to buy third party gc’s with happy gift cards we have already?

Bed bath managers never let me do it

Jay
Jay

Don’t tell them? 😉

Just swipe your happy card and press ‘credit’ on the pin-pad.

(I actually do split payments, to use up 2 happy cards for one VGC; problem is it creates some extra ‘friction’ with the cashiers, even if it’s just that they remember you on your next trip…)

Crys
Crys

They have to set the register for the amount of each happy card for them to work

Kelly
Kelly

Ugh! I guess I won’t be doing the amex offer on the happy giftcard website. I knew I should have milked the office depot deal. Oh well on to the next opportunity….

Debit
Debit

Why? It’s still not too late. I don’t think.

Doggo
Doggo

Sad Gift Card

Barry
Barry

Time to start liquidating the Happy Lady cards from the sale last week. Heading to BB&B tonight.

Sapien
Sapien

Get in there! Don’t get caught holding the bag.

RM
RM

Barry Can you please update us on whether you had any issues with tonight’s purchase? I think everyone is nervous about hard-coding at BBB.

Barry
Barry

Didn’t have any problems. I’m planning a Disney trip so I used a $100 Happy Lady card to buy $100 in Disney gift cards. I’ll be repeating this over the next couple of days.

HarryTheFirstHarry
HarryTheFirstHarry

Related but unrelated, newer Happy cards are now coming with covered scratch-off numbers ( a good thing that has been a long standing demand, unfortunately may be too late). And the rules for redemption on these appear to be much stricter in terms of hard coding at merchants. While I was able to buy GCs with them, the newer Happy Lady card did not work at Buy buy Baby (rejected by register and not cashier) though it worked at Bed Bath Beyond to pay for GCs.

RM
RM

HarryTheFirstHarry Did the Happy Lady not work at Buy Buy Baby when you tried to buy a GC, or for organic spend?

HarryTheFirstHarry
HarryTheFirstHarry

I did not try organic spend. GC only. Dont think it would matter though as the same Happy Lady card worked at Bed Bath on GC.

MSer
MSer

Please stop calling these scammy CREDIT CARDS gift cards.

MrObvious
MrObvious

They are the same as any other Visa Gift Card, except that they have a limited number of outlets that allow redemption. Gift card is the correct term.

Daniel
Daniel

It might be the new terms, but it’s going to be a hard thing to code. These are Visas that work at a limited number of merchants. It’s going to be difficult to hard code that into the register system – which the retailer would likely have to do.

Just grab you gift card, check out, and swipe the Visa – the cashier doesn’t even need to see the card.

Joe
Joe

Just deny cards that have the first 6 digits matching what Meta uses for Happy cards. Or even better- put a prompt on the screen that says: Check Card. That way you wouldn’t even have to test it, you could roll it out in an hour.

Daniel
Daniel

Yea, but it’s pretty hard to match an order that has a gift card in it and “block” a certain batch of credit cards. Not saying it’s impossible, just a lot of work for the retailer and they likely wouldn’t see a benefit from doing it.

Christine
Christine

I find it interesting that people were using them to buy gift cards. I never thought of that. I just buy the Happy Guy ones whenever I can get a 10%+ discount because that’s the best way I know to get discounts on Home Depot cards (other than the occasional raise promotion code.)

wjs2
wjs2

I never found anywhere in Florida to redeem these for gift cards; ie, Home Depot’s registers never allowed buying a gc with a HC. I quit buying any HCs months and months ago.

MoreSun
MoreSun

You selected “credit” and not “gift card” right?

MoreSun
MoreSun

While I’m still seeing DPs of this working I’ve seen two DPs in another place I follow of people who got invalid codes when they tried to Happy Guy to gc at HD who have had it work before. One person was able to use another Happy Guy card they had and completed the transaction successfully but the first one they tried wouldn’t allow the transaction. Happy Cards might have figured out how to program against this but maybe it’s something they just figured out and it’s done when they produce the cards? Alternatively (and what I hope is actually what happened) it could be a batch of cards simply got sent out with bad mag strips. Neither person has tried to use the mag strip to purchase anything besides a gc yet.

RM
RM

MoreSun My DP is a bit old, but I successfully used Happy Guy to buy Arco gcs at HD on June 19. I wonder if the problematic Happy Guys are the new type with covered, scratch off numbers. I had the old kind with the numbers exposed.

Dave
Dave

Today I used my Happy Guy card to buy TP G/C at the self-checkout at HD. Never been able to buy G/C at self-checkout before so I was a happy guy 🙂 on both counts. This lane had scan guns instead of laser behind glass so YMMV.
As cashiers get replaced by self-checkout kiosks, some MS routes may come back to life?

MarcoPolo
MarcoPolo

Last time I tried Happy GCs at HD to buy a HD GC at self checkout, the attendant had to punch in an auth code of some sort and even though she said it wasn’t supposed to be done, she did it.

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