CVS Imposing New Limits on Purchasing Gift Cards In One Week

The Forward Cabin reports on new gift card limits at CVS effective October 27.

  • No more than $2000 total per person per day
  • ID required for purchases of $300 or more

Purchasing Vanilla Reload cards with a credit card ended April 4. But CVS has still been a useful place to buy prepaid cards.

They’re placing new limits on the purchase of those cards, and it’s pretty clear they’re doing it because of concerns over fraud or federal financial reporting rules.

That’s why they’re hard-coding limits of $2000 per single transaction into registers for purchase of prepaid cards, and why the memo to store managers warns about ‘structuring’ or breaking up larger transactions into smaller one. The memo warns that structuring to avoid reporting requirements is illegal, which points to the concern or motivation for this change although it’s rather oddly places as there are no such reporting requirements for sub-$2000 transactions.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. most of the gamers are not rushing out to buy anymore, not even to meet minimum spend as there are no ways to get ride of it, not even Evolve money will take it. Cvs is a little late to impose change as they can see the drastic drop in sales

  2. The part about getting your ID on purchases over $300. You won’t waste your time buying $300 at a time for $4.95 from store to store.

    The sad thing is, this still won’t stop criminals who have a stolen card, because for them even that is profitable. It’ll only make life a hassle for legitimate buyers.

  3. @anon #1, transactions where they require your ID are tracked across stores. for instance if you hit the current $5k limit at one store, your transaction at the next store won’t go through.

  4. In what situation would buying CVS GCs be worthwhile? Aside from meeting minimums, is their any other reason?

  5. Seeing this structuring hysteria everywhere now. A lousy $2K gets the feds all excited, while banksters launder billions to drug dealers, terrorists and rogue nations like Iran and north Korea with impunity. Small minded nitwits at the helm.

  6. CVS stores that I’ve tried, in DC/Baltimore, area have all gone to cash only. Visa/MC/AmEx gift cards are cash only and only store gift cards like Amazon, iTunes, Nordstrom can be purchased with credit cards.

  7. I’m a bit confused. The title says there is a restriction on buying gift cards “in one week”. The first bullet says you are restricted to $2000 per person “per day”. The last paragraph mentions a $2000 limit “per single transaction”. Which is it?

  8. the restriction is starting in a week.

    the $2000 per transaction limit is generally applied as a per-day limit, tracked across purchases and across CVS stores based on the ID they take from you with the purchase

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