Posted by Chuck on November 25, 2019
Gift Card Deals

Published on November 25th, 2019 | by Chuck

42

Safeway Limits Select Gift Card Purchases to $500/Txn (Best Buy, iTunes, Google, Gamestop) [Vons, Randall’s, Albertsons, Tom Thumb, Acme, Jewel, Shaw’s]

A memo went around Safeway and affiliated stores introducing a new POS limit of $500 per transaction on select retailer gift cards. The following brands are affected: Best Buy, iTunes, Google Play, GameStop.

From what I understand this limit is already in effect, and it affects all stores in the Safeway family, including Vons, Randall’s, Albertsons, Tom Thumb, Acme, Jewel, Shaw’s. The actual wording in the memo is $500 per 5 minutes, so even a nice cashier might not be able to let you do back-to-back $500 transactions.

We just posted the other day about the same $500 limit at Stop&Shop. 

Thanks to my friend Jamie for tipping me off to this



42
Leave a Reply

avatar
 

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Austin Miller
Austin Miller

I assume trying to curb gift card scams.

Peter
Peter

They state it’s to help cut down on “VAF” or “victim assisted fraud”. They define this as the unsuspecting individual who believes a scammer that calls them and tells the person to go buy gift cards to get person out of jail, pay IRS, etc. Then when the “victim” reports the loss, the retailer often makes them whole in some way (such as eating the fraud losses) instead of telling the victim to go pound sand and wise up.

The “victim” willfully used their credit/debit card or cash to purchase the gift cards. What they do after that moment is entirely up to them and their responsibility. It’s insane that it has gotten to this point where limits are being placed on purchases to essentially protect the stupid from themselves.

debit
debit

We need something like global entry/ TSA precheck for gift cards. Do a background check then let me MS without restriction with minimal supervision.

Right now the karens think they are defending national security by not allowing me to buy a MO

COBOLCODERUSEALLCAPS

Wow, it is amazing coincidence that the cashiers that give me a hard time are always named Karen or have a variation of the name.

MSer
MSer

Not the stupid, typically elderly with reduced mental acuity. They get scammed out of hundreds of millions a year – it’s a cottage industry in Jamaica

TomJ
TomJ

A middle-aged teacher was on the news recently for falling for the scam. She cleaned out all of her accounts and then was trying to borrow money from her mother. Her ELDERLY mother is the one who informed her she was being scammed! (Just an interesting twist. Lots of people seem to be gullible.(

aubergine
aubergine

Those are all fair points, but how would you feel if it was your elderly widowed aunt who had $19,000 scammed out of her? society has guardrails on things not to protect the race car drivers, but for those who are less able/skilled/cunning etc.

Bill
Bill

How I would feel is different from what common sense restrictions should exist at the frikken grocery store.

Tad
Tad

The system won’t let you buy more than one Best Buy, even if the checker lets you. 2nd card fails to activate (but they keep your money!)

Kevin

Yep datapoint yesterday attempted at two different stores to buy 1.5k and only 1/3 activated and I had to get 1k refunded back to my card. So transaction actually goes through but the system doesn’t activate more than one $500 card.

Superchurn
Superchurn

+1

Trevor
Trevor

What’s the angle with Best Buy? Last I knew, resale was only around 90%.

aubergine
aubergine

electronics are very fenceable on ebay , amazon etc.

Trevor
Trevor

Fenceable, sure. But you’d be losing 13%+, selling at a discount, minus any scams. Nowhere near feasible for a churner. So I don’t think that’s what the average DoC reader is concerned about.

channelz28
channelz28

Add paying for shipping on top of that. Plus the sales tax at Best Buy. I can’t imagine what the angle is here. I resell electronics on ebay sometimes, but phones are really the only thing worth shipping. I don’t think I’ve ever resold from BB.

Tad
Tad

90% is a terrible rate

Trevor
Trevor

90% is pretty bad but it’s amongst the highest of all brands. Are you implying you get more than 90% elsewhere?

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Yes.

Zaos
Zaos

Is your amazon rate 88%?

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

Is that a joke?

Stryker
Stryker

There is an entire ecosystem built on BestBuy gift cards. Millions of dollars in transactions . I’d not let the cat out of the bag on this one.

Catapult
Catapult

I once had a $500 BestBuy GC balance wiped out minutes after purchase / activation. Thankfully Amex came to to the rescue, because Safeway was tough to deal with.

Rene
Rene

Any DPs if they also prevent buying GC with Safeway GCs now? I got a warning by a friendly cashier a week ago that they are planning to hardcode it, but she didn’t have a date.

MickeyMouse
MickeyMouse

I never knew you could buy GC’s with Safeway GC.

Rene
Rene

YMMV. Official policy is that you can’t, but it’s not hardcoded and depends on the cashier. I usually don’t announce that I’ll be paying with GC and see if they stop me. I say that I’ll be paying with GPay, which is true — but I try to swipe a GC or two.

I have seen the full range: cashier doesn’t know or care, cashier stops me after the first GC swiped but lets me complete the purchase and an overly eager cashier calling a manager and voiding the transaction.

RM
RM

Rene Still working as of a couple of days ago. Well, at least if you get stuck with a bunch of Safeway GCs, you can spend them organically on groceries and gas.

Superchurn
Superchurn

oh gas too? that’s good to know

RM
RM

Superchurn YMMV on gas, depending on the presence of Safeway/Albertsons/etc.-owned gas stations in your area. Many in the Bay Area and Denver, for example, but none in the Midwest (as far as I know).

Superchurn
Superchurn

thanks for this DP. has been my go-to route for a long time…will suck if this dries up

captainsave
captainsave

Well if they weren’t, they’re going to now…

René
René

Still working today, 12/02 — either super slow in rolling this out, or this was false information.

Although, the cashier had to confirm the after I swiped the Safeway GC. As far as I remember this is new. In the past, the GC was automatically applied when you swiped. I guess this increases the chance of being stopped by the cashier.

Ash
Ash

What about variable Visa/MC? Are those affected as well?

Dan
Dan

Nothing in this post would indicate such

Steven
Steven

Can anyone confirm the 5 minute cool-down period? Or is it only limited to 1 card per transaction?

Tad
Tad

IME it’s longer

Cole
Cole

Local Safeway in PDX recently started requiring ID check for GC purchase >=$250

qmc
qmc

Half of my local Safeway’s require ID to match to card now. Let’s me know which ones have had more fraud, but the cashiers seem to appreciate that I have my ID out and don’t give them any shit for it.

aubergine
aubergine

i put my ID and card together when I hand them over, even if sometimes I do Gpay. I thank them for checking. Fixing an ID theft problem some years back took a lot of effort / time. (that was a case of a flurry of iTunes gc at a CVS, right under the limit where cashiers were supposed to check IDs too. cops told us they took a ton of police reports on it, and they suspected it was a quasi inside job)

Catapult
Catapult

Some Safeway affiliates near me have refused to accept CC for Visa/MC purchases which is new considering I’ve been buying from them for years now.

Parts Unknown
Parts Unknown

I’ve also run into this at one location. Hopefully does not spread.

Rene
Rene

I run into a cashier a year ago that said, we’d prefer if you wouldn’t use credit for a GC > $200, which was super odd. Only happened to me once.

Bill
Bill

Yeah, that’s only how everyone buy’s GCs.

Back to Top ↑