In most circumstances, you can buy a gift card with a credit card. Not only is purchasing gift cards with credit cards convenient, but it could also allow you to earn credit card rewards or cash back on your spending. Just be sure to keep a close eye on your spending and pay off your credit card each month to avoid hefty interest charges and a damaged credit score.
Gift cards are most people’s go-to present for friends and family who are difficult to shop for. By gifting your loved ones a gift card, you won’t have to worry about them not liking your present since they can pick out exactly what they want from their favorite shop.
But what if you don’t have enough cash on hand or forget to bring your debit card with you when purchasing a gift card? Can you use a credit card instead?
The short answer is yes. Here’s why you may want to consider using a credit card to purchase a gift card, how to do so, and what to be aware of.
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Can you buy a gift card with a credit card?
Yes. You could buy a gift card with a credit card in most cases. Many retailers — like Staples, Walmart, and Target — allow you to pay for a gift card with a credit card either online or in a brick-and-mortar store.
How to buy a gift card with a credit card
You can purchase a gift card with a credit card in the same way that you buy other items. For example, if you want to buy a certain gift card on Amazon, head to Amazon’s website, select the gift card, and add it to your shopping cart. At the checkout page, enter your credit card details and decide whether you’d like Amazon to mail the gift card directly to you or deliver it to your email inbox, where you could print it out yourself.
The process of purchasing gift cards with a credit card may vary slightly depending on the merchant as well as whether you purchase the card in-store. That said, it’s quite straightforward and no different from buying other everyday items.
Should you buy a gift card with a credit card?
There’s no reason why you can’t buy a gift card with a credit card. As long as you’re paying off your credit balance on time and in full each month, buying a gift card with a credit card won’t damage your credit score or affect your finances.
Plus, depending on your credit card’s rewards program, paying for a gift card with a credit card may allow you to earn credit card rewards such as points or cash back.
Cons of using a credit card to purchase gift cards
Here are some potential downsides to purchasing gift cards with plastic that you should be aware of.
- Gift cards do not have the same consumer protections as credit cards. When you use a gift card, you may not receive the same level of consumer protection as you would if you used a credit card. This means you may be left without recourse if the gift card is stolen or if someone makes a fraudulent charge on it.
- Gift cards tie your cash to a certain merchant. When you purchase a gift card, you’re essentially giving the recipient the ability to spend your money at a specific merchant. While this can be useful if you know the recipient shops frequently at that merchant, it can be limiting if they change their mind and want to shop elsewhere. Once you purchase the gift card, you can’t take the money back and use it elsewhere.
If you... purchase $2,000 worth of gift cards, ...your credit utilization ratio would jump to 60%. This could potentially lower your credit score. — Baruch Silvermann, financial expert and CEO of The Smart InvestorClick to Tweet
What to be aware of before purchasing a gift card with plastic
Though there are plenty of reasons buying a gift card with a credit card is fine, there are also possible restrictions to keep in mind.
Before making a gift card purchase with your credit card, be aware of any restrictions or limitations the retailer may have on the use of gift cards. For example, some retailers may restrict the use of gift cards for specific products, while others may have expiration dates. Make sure to read the fine print before purchasing the gift card to avoid any surprises.
Also, if you purchase a gift card from a major financial institution, you may be able to use it wherever that institution is accepted. For instance, if a merchant accepts American Express credit cards, there’s a good chance they’ll accept American Express gift cards, too.
Some credit card issuers may treat gift card purchases as cash advances when you buy them directly from a financial institution. To avoid triggering expensive cash advance fees, check with your credit card issuer or read your card’s terms and conditions beforehand.
However, these fees apply more to generic gift cards. While these cards can be handy (like prepaid debit cards without ATM access), you may prefer to get store gift cards instead and avoid any fees.
Gift cards could be susceptible to fraud, so always purchase them from a reputable retailer. And remember, before entering your credit card information to buy a gift card online, verify that the website is secured, as scammers may steal your private information through unsecured sites.
Baruch Silvermann, financial expert and CEO ofThe Smart Investor, notes that it’s important to be aware of your credit utilization when purchasing gift cards using credit.
“If you have a credit card with a $5,000 limit and a $1,000 balance[, your] credit utilization ratio is 20%. If you then use that credit card to purchase $2,000 worth of gift cards, your balance would increase to $3,000, and your credit utilization ratio would jump to 60%. This could potentially lower your credit score.”
Don’t choose a credit card solely based on the rewards program for gift card purchases. Instead, consider whether the card makes sense for your lifestyle. For example, if you carry a balance on your credit card, a 0% introductory APR card (like those below) may save you more money in the long run.
Best credit cards for purchasing gift cards
The best credit cards for buying a gift card are those that let you rack up rewards. Here are some top rewards credit cards we recommend that you look into.
Other rewards cards worth considering
Chase Freedom Unlimited
In the first year, Chase Freedom Unlimited lets you earn an extra 1.5% cash back on everything you purchase on up to $20,000. After that, you could receive 3% back with Chase Ultimate Rewards® when you buy gift cards from drugstores and 5% on travels booked with the card.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
With the Ink Business Cash® credit card, you could earn 5% back on up to $25,000 spent on office supply stores each account anniversary year. Plus, this card doesn’t have an annual fee.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi allows you to earn 4% back on gift cards purchased at gas stations and 2% on gift cards purchased at Costco stores or Costco.com. However, you must have a Costco Membership to be eligible for this rewards credit card.
While the Target RedCard rewards credit card is only available for use at Target, it doesn’t charge an annual fee. Plus, you could enjoy 5% off on everything you purchase at Target — including specialty gift cards for travel or subscription services.
Before signing up for a rewards credit card, make sure you understand the rewards structure, redemption process, and any restrictions on earning rewards.
Can you buy gift cards at Walmart with a credit card?
Yes, Walmart is one of the many retailers that allow you to purchase gift cards with a credit card. You can get a Walmart physical gift card in-store or an e-gift card on Walmart.com.
Can you buy prepaid Visa cards with a credit card?
Yes, you can purchase Visa gift cards using a credit card. However, it’s important to note that though you can purchase a prepaid card with a credit card, you can’t load it with a credit card. You can find prepaid cards at most banks, credit unions, gas stations, drug stores, and grocery stores.
Do you need an ID to buy a gift card with a credit card?
It depends. Some retailers may require you to present an ID when you buy a gift card with a credit card to verify your identity, though some may not. If you plan on buying a gift card at a brick-and-mortar store, bring your ID (just in case).
How can I get cash from my credit card without ATM?
If you need cash but don’t have access to an ATM or a debit card, you could visit your financial institution and request a cash advance with your credit card. Simply put, a cash advance allows you to withdraw cash against your credit limit. However, they often come with high fees and interest rates, so use them sparingly and with caution.
- You can buy gift cards with a credit card, either online or in person.
- Paying for a gift card with a credit card can earn you rewards and won’t affect your credit score as long as you pay your credit card balance on time and in full each month.
- Gift cards typically don’t have the same consumer protections as credit cards and will tie your cash to a specific merchant.
- Reward credit cards like Chase Freedom Unlimited, Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, or Target RedCard are great options to consider if you want to earn rewards with your gift card purchases.
- Before buying a gift card with your credit card, double-check with the retailer to see if there are any restrictions or fees associated with using this payment method.
View Article Sources
- FDIC Consumer News: What You Should Know About Gift Cards — Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
- Gift Card Scams — Federal Trade Commission
- How to Buy Things Online Without a Credit Card — SuperMoney
- How to Pay Your Mortgage With a Credit Card — SuperMoney
- Can You Buy Stocks With a Credit Card? — SuperMoney
- What is a Credit Card CVV? And 9 Other Credit Card Questions You’re Too Embarrassed to Ask — SuperMoney
- Credit Card Alternatives To Consider — SuperMoney
- How To Swipe a Card the Right Way — SuperMoney
- What Is Credit Card Purchase Protection? — SuperMoney
- What is Cashback and How Does It Work? — SuperMoney
- Buying Visa Gift Cards With a Credit Card — SuperMoney