Is it possible to get a Visa or Mastercard Gift Card in the US and use it to buy UK products/services (online) that require a UK billing address?

I know that in the US, I can buy something like that at grocery stores, but typically can only purchase products in the US. Sometimes you can use whatever billing/shipping address you want, because they don't ask for that when you buy/register the card. This is basically what I'm looking for, but for use with UK products/services.

The exact example is that there are some services from the UK that I want to purchase, but they do not allow US based billing addresses to be used. It's Visa/MC only, so no AMEX or Discover even. Since the US has gift cards you can use online without registering an address, I wondered if there was something like that in the UK that I could get, and then perhaps somehow get it (or the numbers) sent to me, here in the US?

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    Do you have any good friends or family in the UK? Visa and Amex gift cards are fairly easy to find in bigger UK supermarkets and places like WHSmiths, and tend not to have very high fees. (Ones with no fee are much harder to find). If you had someone you trusted in the UK, you could have them buy you some, and send you the details – Gagravarr Feb 18 '15 at 13:15
  • That's a good point. I do have some friends who just moved there. Thanks for the suggestion! – Nate Ritter Feb 18 '15 at 18:41
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    Currently the best no-fee cards for use online are pay.com, formerly 3v, but due to the current name change they're currently very scarce. They seem to vanish in no time in Tescos, last a bit longer elsewhere, if your friends don't mind hunting! – Gagravarr Feb 18 '15 at 18:52

This doesn't directly pertain to international transactions but may be relevant. I got an American Express gift card over the holidays, and I tried to use it at an online merchant. The card was declined because it failed address verification.

I called American Express gift card services (number was on the gift card), and they knew immediately what the problem was and fixed it. They simply took my address and added it as a billing address on the card. I retried the payment and it went through right away.

It may be worth calling the gift card company and asking them to simply add your billing address.

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  • Interesting. Did you have to verify your billing address somehow with them? – Nate Ritter Jan 13 '15 at 4:29
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    Nope, they didn't need to verify anything, just asked for my name and address and verified the spellings. – briantist Jan 13 '15 at 4:40

Yes it is possible, the Google Summer of Code students have been doing so for years. They get a Prepaid card and then can spend that in there local countries. They have the billing address as Google and the shipping address as their own. A few retailers have trouble but that just their systems.

The trouble people have had is more in transferring the money to their personal accounts, usually there is a charge on this transfer. Transfer money from US ("prepaid") VISA Debit to AU bank account

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  • It's the billing address that is the trouble it seems. For some UK services purchasable online, you can only get it if you use a UK billing address. Would it work in that case? Or is the prepaid card registered with the billing address in the US. – Nate Ritter Jan 12 '15 at 16:57
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    Its only going to depend on the specific retailer and trial and error. Amazon.co.uk were OK, using the card via PayPal helps. However it is really a question for the specific retailer. Its their own restrictions no the cards. – Phil Hannent Jan 13 '15 at 9:21

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