I gave a Visa gift card of $500 so my grandson could make a cross country trip. It was to cover gas, food and lodging. He reached North Dakota and the hotel there could not charge to the card even though the card still had close to $400 showing.
Seems that each time he filled up his small car - a 10 gallon fill up $35 - Visa blocks $75 per use for four days. It doesn't take long to block the entire card with the number of gas stops he had to make.
With a cash card you wouldn't expect blockage of funds. A call to the customer service number on the card received a curt "it's just our policy" and basically just blew him off. The only reason he didn't have to sleep in his car that night was that I was able to get funds to him quickly.
No where on the banks web site where I bought the card, nor on Visa's own web site does it mention this problem.
A simple bank account with a Debit card would have been much better, cheaper and less hassle.
I consider this "policy" to be an unconscionable business practice. It has left a bad taste in the mouth of both the sender and the receiver of the "gift". My Visa cards are behind me now. While others MAY be as bad, I will use another company for my credit/gift/business/etc. cards for the future.