Posted by Chuck on December 6, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on December 6th, 2017 | by Chuck


SVM Gift Cards on eBay is Coding as Cash Advance…Again

Deja vu.

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.

43 Responses to SVM Gift Cards on eBay is Coding as Cash Advance…Again

  1. Justin says:

    Someone has mentioned SVM told them they would be refunding $20 to people impacted. Have not confirmed this myself.

  2. Mark says:

    Since when did they change to CA? It seems the transaction on 11/30 is fine.

  3. Duke I. says:

    These types of issues can keep one awake at night not knowing if the charge will be coded as a cash advance or not. I’m anxious to find out if my transaction using the Citi Premier card to fund a bank account will post as a purchase. I set the cash advance limit to zero and the charge went through without any problems. I didn’t even get a fraud alert.

  4. Rye says:

    Is this only when paying directly with credit card in ebay instead of paypal?

    I got scared there for a second and had to check. I used paypal and it was coded as merchandise.

  5. Ethan Steinberg says:

    I can provide screenshots if you want but I’m not seeing this on my SPG card as of yesterday, coded as a purchase

  6. Debt Hater says:

    Tried to make a purchase on 12/4 with my Chase card and it was strangely declined, must be because my cash advance limit is only $100. Used my checking account instead.

    Went through on 12/5 but purchase is still under pending at this point.

  7. Daniel says:

    I purchased two GCs from them yesterday using $200 Vanilla Gift that I wanted to drain.
    This one didn’t get coded as cash advance. Obviously, it doesn’t have cash advance feature, or does it?
    Just a DP.

  8. Vince says:

    In terms of paying down balance, that’s referring to full balance on the card, or just the amount of the cash advance (plus a little extra for potential interest)?

  9. Alex says:

    Just got this from SVM after contacting them:

    Thank you for reaching out to SVM Gift Cards. SVM was informed by PayPal that PayPal inadvertently made a payment processing change to SVM’s account that is responsible for accepting and processing payments on our eBay store. The change resulted in your payment being processed as a Cash Advance payment. PayPal will be providing a credit to your account in the amount of $20. PayPal has confirmed the issue has been resolved and no future purchases will be affected.

    Please note that this was NOT a mistake caused by SVM, rather it was an internal processing error in the PayPal system. There were no changes made by SVM that would have caused these transactions to be processed as a cash advance, so we were shocked to see this error. We are working diligently with eBay and PayPal to rectify the situation with those customers that have been affected, but have limited control due to the issue stemming from non-SVM controlled systems. If you do not receive contact from PayPal or eBay within the next five business days and the transaction has not been corrected, please respond directly to this message and we will work to get this resolved on your behalf.

    Thank you for your understanding and continued patience.

    Thank you,

    The SVM Team “

  10. Brian says:

    On my amex SVM is coming through as “supplies ans merchandise – wholesale clubs”. Not CA.

  11. escot says:

    Where are the “data points” you reference? (a few links please) And how should we “leave them feedback” — as in where? And how would that be better than actually picking up the phone and calling? Given how much you do to help ebay with promoting these deals, we’ll anticipate much more follow-up on this.

    • escot says:

      self-correction — I’m glad we have many readers already contributing more details. Thanks.

    • Redbluefire says:

      Ebay has an integrated feedback system for purchases. He recommends leaving feedback there because it is not only visible to SVM, but other users as well — so they have a much bigger interest in fixing things because it could hurt future sales.

    • Chuck says:

      @escot I linked one in the post, a second is the screenshot in the post, and a third is in the comments of the previous post. There are many more too.

  12. ray says:

    i used cap1 spark directly through ebay (didnt use paypal) and coded fine for purchase made on 12/4.

  13. Mike L says:

    Again? How does this keep happening? You’d think they would have someone on staff at SVM by now to make sure this doesn’t happen since it’s such a huge shit show for them…

  14. Paul says:

    Amex DP. No fee for me but it did post differently.
    12/4: description: MONEY SERVICE BUSIN
    11/27: description: NON-DURABLE GOODS

  15. fathiss says:

    Had two SVM gift card purchases with two different AMEX cards on 12/5. Neither coded as cash advance. I don’t think anyone is getting a cash advance code on an AMEX card. You might want to retract the AMEX statement unless you really do have a data point.

  16. JASON says:

    Purchased BP gas card on 11/27,

    Merchandise & Supplies – Wholesales Stores

    Paypal * SVM LP

    I just did the calculation myself, total credit line – available credit = purchase amount of these gift cards, so can I say I’m safe so far? It’s unlikely it would convert to CA later right?

  17. TravelGirl says:

    Is it possible that the codings have been changed again, and that PPDG is now coding as 5X and 3X? Any data points?

  18. wwllmm says:

    “We have one data point with Discover reversing the cash advance fee based on seeing prior transactions from SVM which weren’t cash advances.”

    BA+ did this as well…

  19. joe says:

    I spoke with SVM — was told it was during only 1-2 hr period on 12/4.

    • Chuck says:

      Oh, nice, maybe it’s fixed already. We need data points.

      • joe says:

        well i spoke with my contact there and supposedly they caught this one pretty quick. Like the previous message, supposedly if was a paypal related issue — caught by ebay and they fixed in — in an hour or 2.

        Of course I have an order on 12/5 on my fidelity card, I am keeping my eye out.

        Barclay refused to change the coding, but i’m going to try to speak with a supervisor later — better to get $20 and the fee reversed 😀

  20. My BoA card coded it as cash advance.

    Emailed SVM to complain — and will probably email BoA as well to ask about this issue

  21. ws says:

    Thanks Chuck for your helpful, solid efforts on this. (and providing the links. 🙂 ) Interesting that SVM wants to lay blame/responsibility with paypal….. (reminds me of long trains of abuses with paypay/ebay where never mind their common parentage, reps for each oft’ blame the other half…)

    Curious too that SVM tries to rebut your concerns by reference to the USPS….. Well actually, yes, if USPS would fail to deliver a package — that indeed would be SVM’s responsibility to make right….. (Ok, it wouldn’t be SVM’s “fault” — but it IS their responsibility — for having elected such a vulnerable method of shipping…..) I actually had one gc shipment from SVM waylayed a year ago — lost by USPS….. To their credit, SVM was very good about sending me new ones….. Yet that issue of mail security and untracked first class delivery has long kept me awake at night. What exactly would be our recourse if someone unintended received my gc’s from SVM — and then chose to use them for themselves? (Those things ship “live” — no separate pin envelopes, and no shipping tracking)

    This whole subject deserves a separate post & review – especially as the USPS groans under the massive Amazon load….. A lot of us here do considerable gift card re-selling with a much appreciated service that for the mortals among us, still uses snail mail….. That too, wakes me up at night — wondering/worrying….. Yes, most of their checks come quick — but I have two of them that I know of that were misdirected and arrived over a week+ later than expected…. Sure, that service says that they’ll be happy to replace and re-send a check — if we “give it time”….. But still…..

  22. Justin says:

    If I pay off my balance completely and them start spending again before my next statement, should I be free and clear of any interest charges except the one day that the charge posted? Or, do I need to wait a full billing cycle before using this card again.

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