One of the ways to strike a bargain when buying at Walmart is to do it using a Walmart gift card. But if you stay in Canada and plan to move or visit the US, you may wonder if your card is useful there. So, can Canadian Walmart gift cards be used in America?
Generally, most gift cards work locally, and Walmart is one. So, you can only use and reload your Canadian Walmart gift card in Canada. This is due to the variations in the exchange rate and prices. Nonetheless, these gift cards have pros and cons, and you can use some gift cards in both countries.
Regardless, a Canadian Walmart gift card may work in another Walmart branch in the US. Some users have been able to do this. But it’s an exception rather than the rule. So, it’s advisable to have other options if you’re planning to try that. Here, we examine gift cards, whether Canadian Walmart gift cards can work in the US and the gift cards that work in both US and Canada.
What are Gift cards
Gift cards are retailer-issued cards that you can use to shop online or in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s a payment method too, with its peculiarities and benefits. You can get a physical or virtual gift card. But whichever it is, you’ll be able to use it to buy anything.
Types of Gift cards
There are two types of Gift cards based on their acceptability
1. Open Loop Gift Card
This card is a general-purpose gift card that you can use anywhere that card is accepted. It’s usually issued by payment companies such as Visa, Discover, MasterCard, etc. Such a card could be prepaid, which means you can reload it or simply be a normal gift card where once you use the money in it, the card becomes useless. With an open-loop card gift, you can use it at any store that accepts cards from the brand, whether in Canada or outside.
2. Closed Loop Gift Card
Closed-loop cards are only for specific merchants, which Walmart gift card is. Therefore, you can only use it at a Walmart store and nowhere else. In addition, Walmart allows customers to get both physical and digital cards.
Pros of Gift cards
There are some benefits to getting a gift card, such as:
1. Substitute means of payment
You can use gift cards to pay where you don’t want to use your credit card or pay with cash. It’s simple and speeds up the checkout process.
2. Suitable Gift Item
Many people don’t like the idea of getting cash as a gift, whether it’s for the holidays or an important occasion. But finding the perfect gift for a person isn’t always easy. You can avoid the awkwardness of cash gifts without stressing about the perfect gift by just giving the person a gift card. With this, the card recipient can buy what they want for themselves.
3. Control Spending
If you’re concerned about your spending, gift cards are a good way to manage it. You’ll be able to avoid bank overdrafts since you can only use what’s on the card. You can even use it to teach your kids how to learn budgeting and spending.
Cons of Gift cards
There are also some downsides to gift cards:
1. Risk of Wasting Money
When you use a gift card, especially one that’s not reloadable, some change could be left. In some cases where this change isn’t used because of forgetfulness, the money is wasted. Also, when moving to another country permanently, you might end up wasting the card as it might not be redeemable there.
2. Additional Charges
Gift cards usually come with additional fees on them. You pay a purchase fee for some, and if they’re reloadable, you also pay to reload charges. At the end of the day, the extra cost to get a card that’s solely for payment might not be worth it. The issuer could also charge an inactivity fee if you don’t use your card for a long time. Although gift cards take about five years to expire, the inactivity charge could be annoying.
3. Limited Purchasing Power
This mostly applies to a closed-loop gift card. However, since you can only use them in the local stores of the retail merchant, it doesn’t give many options.
4. Risk of Loss
There’s the likelihood of loss of misplacement when using gift cards. Such a situation can get worse if you don’t register the gift card or know its number.
Why can’t you use a Canadian Walmart card in the US?
These are the reasons you can’t use Canadian Walmart gift cards in the US:
1. Price of Goods May Vary in Both Countries
Although there are gift cards with worldwide use, this isn’t likely to be so for a Walmart card. This is because gift cards are launched for the country based on the price of goods in the country. With the usually varying prices in various countries, there’s a significant chance that the card will only work in Canada. But you can confirm this by asking the cashier at any Walmart store or calling Walmart support.
2. Exchange Rates
Beyond the price, the exchange rate is another issue. It fluctuates, and the difference in conversion rates means that even if you can use the card in the US, you might end up spending more than you ought to. On the other hand, if you own a Walmart card and leave Canada, you can always save your card whenever you come to Canada because Walmart gift cards never expire.
Which Gift Cards Can You Use in Canada and the US?
While Walmart’s card might be restricted to the country where it was issued, other retailers are more open to where you can use their cards. For example, retailers that allow customers to use their gift cards in both countries include:
- American Eagle Outfitters.
- Eddie Bauer
- Old Navy
- Banana Republic
- Whole Foods
- Tim Hortons
You can’t use a Canadian Walmart gift card in the US. This is because of variations in prices and exchange rates. But there are other retailers that you can use for their gift cards in both countries.