Can You Buy Gift Cards With a Credit Card?

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Can You Buy Gift Cards With a Credit Card

Yes, you can buy gift cards using a credit card. Whether you’re planning for holidays or birthdays, or just want to simplify your shopping, gift cards can be a practical and thoughtful choice. 

However, while purchasing them is generally straightforward, there are a few nuances and tips you should know to make the most out of your transactions. 

Below you will discover how you can maximize benefits and avoid potential pitfalls when buying gift cards with your credit card.

MoneyLion can help you explore a wide variety of credit card options tailored to different needs and preferences. 

Why should you buy gift cards with a credit card?

There are many reasons to buy gift cards with a credit card, including the following.


When you buy gift cards with a credit card, you can rack up rewards points that contribute towards your overall points balance. These points can often be redeemed for travel, products, or even statement credits, depending on your credit card program. 

In simple terms, you’re earning something extra for purchases you would make anyway. It’s a smart move to buy gift cards for expenses you know you’ll incur, like groceries or gas, effectively earning rewards on these inevitable expenses.

Bonus categories

Many credit cards offer bonus points or higher cashback percentages in specific spending categories each quarter. For example, if your credit card offers additional rewards for spending at grocery stores and they sell gift cards, you can purchase them there to maximize your earnings. 

This strategy allows you to buy gift cards for various retailers and services while benefiting from the higher reward rate of your primary spending category.


Using a cashback credit card to purchase gift cards is like getting a discount on every purchase made with those cards. Whether your card offers a flat cashback rate or higher rates on specific categories, each gift card purchase will add to your cashback total. 

This is an effective way to stretch your budget further — think of it as saving a little on everything you buy.


Some credit cards partner with retailers to offer discounts on gift card purchases. These discounts can be direct price reductions or involve receiving a higher-value gift card than what you pay for. Keep an eye on offers from your credit card issuer or sign up for alerts, as these discounts are often time-limited or may require activation through your online banking portal.


Credit card issuers frequently run promotions that include bonus rewards or special financing terms when you buy gift cards. For instance, during the holiday season, some cards may offer double points on gift card purchases or they might have special deals with certain brands or stores. 

These promotions can provide significant additional value, especially if you align them with your shopping needs.

How to buy gift cards with a credit card

Purchasing gift cards with a credit card is straightforward. You can buy them directly from retailers, both in-store and online, as well as from banks and credit card issuer websites. 

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Always check if your credit card has any restrictions on purchasing gift cards.
  • Look for opportunities to buy gift cards through platforms or stores that offer additional rewards or discounts.
  • Ensure the transaction will classify as a purchase to qualify for rewards and not as a cash advance, which might attract higher fees and interest rates.

Utilizing these strategies, you can turn gift card purchases into a smart financial move, leveraging your spending to benefit from various credit card perks.

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

You can buy gift cards with a credit card at a wide variety of locations, ensuring that you have ample opportunities to enjoy the benefits of your purchases. 

Here are some key places to consider:

Retail stores

Most major retailers offer their own gift cards and usually allow you to purchase them with a credit card. This includes department stores, electronics stores, and clothing outlets. Shopping at these locations lets you earn rewards on your credit card while securing a versatile gift or budgeting tool.

Online merchants

Many e-commerce platforms and retailers also sell gift cards online, where you can easily purchase them with your credit card. This is particularly convenient as you can do it from the comfort of your home, often accessing a broader selection of gift card options than what might be available in stores.

Supermarkets and grocery stores

Supermarkets are not just for food shopping; they also typically have a rack or section dedicated to gift cards. These range from restaurant gift cards to those of other retailers and services. Since many credit cards offer additional rewards for purchases made at supermarkets, you can maximize your benefits by purchasing gift cards there.


Similar to supermarkets, drugstores often have a selection of gift cards. These can be especially handy when you’re picking up a last-minute gift or need to manage your spending in specific categories.

Gas stations

If you’re on the road and need a quick gift or want to manage your fuel expenses better, many gas stations offer gift cards that you can buy with a credit card. Some also sell gift cards for other retailers and restaurants.


Many restaurants, from fast-food chains to fine dining establishments, sell gift cards that you can purchase directly with a credit card. This can be a great way to handle dining expenses or treat someone to a meal.

Banks and credit card issuers

Some banks and credit card companies offer gift cards that can be used almost anywhere. Purchasing these gift cards can sometimes include promotional benefits, such as reduced fees or bonus rewards points.

Types of gift cards you can buy with a credit card

Navigating the wide world of gift cards can be exciting, especially when you realize just how many types are available to suit different preferences and needs. By understanding the variety, you can better leverage your credit card to buy the perfect gift card, whether it’s for gifting, budgeting, or earning rewards. 

Here are some common types of gift cards you can purchase with a credit card:

Retail gift cards

These are perhaps the most popular types of gift cards. Retail gift cards can be used at specific stores or a group of stores under the same brand, such as clothing retailers, electronics stores, or home goods outlets. They offer the recipient flexibility to choose what they want within that retail environment.

Network gift cards 

Network gift cards, such as those offered by Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, are a versatile and widely accepted form of gift card. Unlike store-specific gift cards, network gift cards can be used virtually anywhere that accepts credit card payments from their respective networks. This makes them an incredibly flexible option for gift-giving or personal use.

What to consider before buying gift cards with a credit card

Before you proceed to buy gift cards with a credit card, it’s important to weigh several considerations to ensure that your purchase aligns with your financial goals and doesn’t lead to unexpected complications. Here are some key points to think about:

1. Purchase fees

Some gift cards, particularly network gift cards like those from Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, come with a purchase fee. This fee can range from a few dollars to upwards of $5 or more, depending on the card. These fees can add up, especially if you’re buying multiple cards, so it’s crucial to factor this into your cost calculations to determine if the benefits outweigh these initial costs.

2. Rewards eligibility

While many credit cards offer rewards for purchases, not all card issuers treat gift card purchases as eligible transactions for rewards points or cashback. In some cases, buying a large amount of gift cards might even be flagged as suspicious activity. 

Always check your credit card’s terms and conditions or confirm with your card issuer to ensure that you will indeed earn rewards on your gift card purchases.

3. Impact on credit utilization

Purchasing a large amount of gift cards using your credit card could significantly impact your credit utilization ratio, which is the amount of credit you are using compared to your credit limit. A high credit utilization can negatively affect your credit score, especially if you don’t pay off the balance immediately. 

It’s wise to consider how such purchases might reflect on your credit health, particularly if you’re near your credit limit.

4. Cash advance fees

Some credit card issuers might classify the purchase of gift cards as a cash advance, particularly if they are bought in large quantities. Cash advances come with high fees and interest rates that accrue immediately, without a grace period. Before making a gift card purchase, ensure that it will be processed as a regular purchase rather than a cash advance.

5. Expiration and Inactivity Fees

While many gift cards no longer expire thanks to consumer protection laws, some may still carry inactivity fees if not used within a certain period. This means the value of the card could diminish over time if it’s not utilized. Always read the terms associated with any gift card before purchasing to avoid losing out on its full value.

Buying gift cards with a credit card: An idea to consider

Buying gift cards with a credit card can be financially savvy, enabling you to earn rewards like points and cashback. You can purchase these cards from diverse sources, whether online or in stores, and enjoy the flexibility they offer.

Moreover, the variety of gift cards — from network cards usable almost anywhere to specific retailer cards — adds to their appeal. Just be mindful of potential fees and the impact on your credit score to truly capitalize on their benefits.


Can I buy a $500 gift card with a credit card?

Yes, many retailers and online platforms allow you to purchase gift cards in varying denominations using a credit card, including $500 denominations. It’s essential to check if your credit card issuer has any restrictions or limits on gift card purchases.

What is the safest way to buy gift cards?

The safest way to buy gift cards is to purchase them directly from reputable retailers or their official websites. Avoid buying gift cards from third-party sellers, especially online marketplaces, to minimize the risk of fraud or counterfeit cards.

What is the most widely accepted gift card?

Visa and Mastercard gift cards are among the most widely accepted gift cards because they can be used at millions of locations worldwide that accept credit cards from these networks. These cards offer recipients the flexibility to choose where to redeem them.

Is $100 too much for a gift card?

The appropriateness of a $100 gift card depends on factors such as the occasion, relationship with the recipient, and their preferences. In many cases, $100 can be a generous and thoughtful gift, but it’s essential to consider individual circumstances and budget constraints.

What should be on the back of a gift card?

On the back of a gift card, you’ll typically find important information such as the card’s activation instructions, expiration date (if applicable), customer service contact details, fees, and sometimes the card’s original balance. It’s crucial to review this information carefully upon receiving or purchasing a gift card.

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