Since a couple of days ago, the SVM gift card seller on eBay purchases are getting coded as cash advance. Seems to be universal across all credit cards; we’ve seen data points on Visa, Amex, and Discover.
Update: SVM insists the issue was only for a few hours and has been fixed. Let’s hope that’s the case. Please contribute data points below.
They had this issues a few times before. Oddly, last time Amex did not code as cash advance while this time it appears thus far that they are, as shown in screenshot above.
Last time around, their merchant category coding got changed from “Services Not Elsewhere Classified” to “Prepaid and Stored.” It’s probably something similar this time as well. The new coding is coming through as a cash advance which has fees and doesn’t earn points.
You might want to leave them bad feedback to make them aware of the issue. Calling in could work too, but it takes them longer to find out that way. It’s worth noting that the issue seems to be a Paypal mistake, not an SVM mistake.
Also, if you did get hit with a cash advance fee, it could be a good idea to quickly pay down your balance in case it can’t be reversed. Otherwise, interest starts accruing immediately. We have one data point with Discover reversing the cash advance fee based on seeing prior transactions from SVM which weren’t cash advances.
For now, I’d advise against buying from SVM or just using Paypal and paying with your bank account or debit card.