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Can You Buy Gift Cards With Credit Cards?

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updated: January 8, 2024

Yes, you can buy gift cards with credit cards, whether you’re looking for a convenient way to pay for one or trying to maximize your credit card rewards. However, there may be some restrictions of which you need to be aware before heading to your nearest retailer. As such, it’s important to learn when you should and shouldn’t buy a gift card using your credit card. 

How to buy gift cards with a credit card

Buying a gift card is similar to purchasing an item at an online or brick-and-mortar retailer. You select the gift card and use a credit card as your method of payment. 

At a brick-and-mortar retailer, grab the card you want, head to the cashier, and let them know the amount you want on the gift card before telling them you want to use a credit card to pay. For an online purchase, click on the gift card you want, type in the amount, head to the checkout section, and enter your credit card information. 

Where can you buy a gift card with a credit card?

You can buy gift cards at most major retailers and restaurants. Some retailers, in addition to gift cards to their own establishments, also offer ones to other stores. Small businesses and restaurants tend to offer gift cards only for themselves. You can also buy gift cards at online retailers, with some marketplaces also selling them for use at a variety of retailers. 

Which gift cards can I buy with a credit card?

You should be able to buy any gift card with a credit card. They fall under two types:

  • Open loop. These gift cards are broad in nature and usually come from a financial institution such as Visa or Mastercard. You can use them for any purposes as long as the retailer accepts payment from the gift card issuer. For example, if you have a Visa gift card, you can technically use it at any retailer that accepts Visa.
  • Store-based. Gift cards for specific retailers can only be used at establishments stated on the card (some may allow you to use it at more than one store branch). For example, if your gift card is for a major clothing retailer, you most likely won’t be able to use it at your local restaurant. 

When should you purchase gift cards with a credit card?

To lock in rewards or discounts

Purchasing gift cards is similar to buying other items, such as clothing, food, or electronics. If you have a credit card that earns rewards—whether it’s points toward travel or cash back on purchases—it makes sense to try to maximize your purchase whenever you can. 

This way the next time you want to buy a gift card for your friend’s birthday, you can earn some perks at the same time. Or, if there is a rewards offer you want to lock in now, you can purchase a gift card and hold onto it to use for yourself at a later time. 

When taking advantage of promotional offers

Some rewards credit cards offer sign-up bonuses if you spend a certain amount within a predetermined amount of time. Purchasing gift cards can help you meet the minimum purchase requirements. 

In addition, if you have a rewards card with bonus earnings in rotating categories—for each quarter, for instance—you can purchase a gift card at a retailer that falls under that category to help you earn more rewards. For example, your credit card is offering 6% back for purchases at home improvement stores. You may be able to purchase a gift card there (it may have to be for that specific retailer itself) and earn the bonus rewards. 

Reasons why you might not want to buy gift cards with a credit card

When stores have stricter purchasing rules

Even though most retailers let you purchase a gift card using a credit card, there may be some that don't. For example, smaller businesses may only allow you to purchase gift cards using debit cards or won’t accept payment from certain credit card retailers. Some may allow you to purchase using your credit card but require a form of identification beforehand. 

You won’t receive credit card rewards

While a gift card may sound like a purchase in your mind, some credit cards don’t count it as such. Many have caught onto how cardholders use these types of purchases to rack up rewards and stipulated in their terms that gift cards may not count toward rewards. Even if you’re able to earn rewards, some credit card issuers may limit the number you can purchase. Those who violate their credit card terms—accidentally or otherwise—could find their rewards taken away or, worse, their credit card account closed. 

What are the best credit cards for purchasing gift cards?

The best credit cards for purchasing gift cards offer you the opportunity to earn as many rewards as you can. Of course, it depends on your needs and where you spend the most money.

The card_name is generally a great all-around card, because it offers unlimited 6% cash back for purchases from certain U.S. streaming subscriptions services and U.S. supermarkets. Plenty of supermarkets, especially the larger chains, also sell gift cards, allowing you to maximize your purchases whether you're buying groceries or cards.

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Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

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If you’re a regular at Target, the Target RedCard is an option for those who want discounts on gift cards. While you can only use this credit card at Target, you can receive 5% back on in-person and online purchases at Target, as well as speciality gift cards. 

Gift cards that function like prepaid debit cards

If you have an open-ended gift card—some of them are reloadable— it will function like a debit card. You can use it to make purchases as long as the retailer accepts payment from that card network. Keep in mind that these cards may charge you a purchase fee, so make sure you’re fine with the charge before proceeding.

Credit card companies can have restrictions as to how many gift cards you can buy, and some may have daily limitations. So if you’re thinking you can rack up a lot of open-ended gift-card purchases, you may be disappointed. 

Does purchasing a gift card count as a cash advance?

In some cases a gift card purchase can be coded as a cash advance. If this happens you'll be charged cash advance fees and incur a higher interest rate with your credit card. Prepaid or open-ended gift cards typically count as a cash advance. Before making your purchase, ask your credit card issuer what the rules are or purchase gift cards along with other items—say with tools at your local hardware store—to perhaps avoid the likelihood of it happening. 

TIME Stamp: Buy gift cards strategically

Buying gift cards using a credit card can be a good way to earn rewards, but you need to plan carefully. Make sure you read the terms and conditions for your credit card to avoid violating any rules or having your purchase be coded as a cash advance. 

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can you purchase a Visa gift card using a credit card?

Yes, though some issuers may code it as a cash advance or impose other types of restrictions.

Can you buy a gift card from Walmart with a credit card?

Yes, you can buy a gift card from Walmart with a credit card. We found a selection of at least 34 currently available for shipping on the Walmart website.

Can you use a credit card to buy a $500 gift card?

You most likely will be able to purchase $500 worth of gift cards using your credit card. However, check with your credit card issuer to ensure that it’s within your cardholder terms and won’t count as a cash advance. 

Can you use a credit card to buy an Amazon gift card?

Yes, you can use your credit card to purchase an Amazon gift card. We found a selection of more than 1,000 in 11 different categories at Amazon’s website.

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