It is almost always possible to purchase gift cards using a credit card, however, do not expect to earn points with every purchase
The person who came up with the idea that gift cards are a good idea deserves a thank you. These clever small pieces of plastic function as convenient gifts and a simple option to show your appreciation to local companies, but they are a great way to spend or earn reward points. This is particularly useful when travel is not much of a possibility.
However, to benefit from these benefits, you need to purchase these cards with credit cards, which leads to the question: is it possible to buy gift cards using credit cards?
Can you purchase gift cards using a credit card?
In most cases, you can purchase gift cards using a credit card. However, there are occasions when you may encounter some issues.
To ensure we’re with the same mindset and to ensure that we’re on the same page, let’s go over an overview of the difference between a debit credit card, credit card, and gift card. A debit card acts as liquid cash, which allows the cardholder to spend only the money they have in the bank, but no more. However, you can spend money with credit cards before having it up to the limit called your credit limit.
Gift cards, naturally, are similar to debit cards and let you draw on your balance. The primary difference is that instead of being linked with a banking account, like your debit card account, your gift card balance is pre-paid by the gifter. The card is of no added value when you’ve exhausted your funds.
However, since there are rules that govern how you use credit cards and gift cards, it’s normal to ask if you could use one to buy the other.
There are two types of gift cards.
There are two kinds of available gift cards: open-loop or store-based, and, in general, you’ll be capable of using cards with credit to buy either.
As the name implies, store-based gift cards must be purchased from a specific vendor and can be utilized only at that particular store. Therefore, if you own a Starbucks gift card, you cannot make use of it to pay for the burrito at Chipotle and reverse.
An open-loop gift card is a more expansive kind of gift card given by an institution of finance — such as Visa or MasterCard, such as MasterCard or Visa, which can be utilized wherever that kind of credit card can be used. It’s an all-purpose credit card designed to be used when you don’t want the person receiving it to be tied to one particular outlet.
Some gift cards issued by retailers have more stringent purchasing guidelines.
Most retailers permit gift cards that are store-based that can be purchased using credit cards; however, there isn’t a set and easy norm. Certain stores may be subject to their limitations, including limiting or restricting purchases of these kinds.
In certain situations, you may be asked to provide some type of ID to ensure the name on your ID is the same as the name you have on the credit card. Or, in certain extreme cases, you could be required to make a payment in cash. (Both of these can make things more complicated if you’re driving to make the payment on the internet.)
Open-loop gift cards may almost always be purchased using a credit card, but they usually include a charge of just a few dollars, so you should be aware of that.
If you’re convinced that the shop you’re shopping at accepts credit cards, but you’re still being denied, this could mean that your credit card issuer is notifying you of your transaction as being suspicious and trying to shield your identity from fraud. If this is the case, make contact with your bank to determine whether any flagged transactions could be the cause.
You might not earn rewards from your credit card on the purchase you make
Whatever kind of credit card you’re buying, remember that your credit card issuer may not offer reward points to make purchases of gift cards. (Although most issuers are significant in allowing you to purchase gift cards that come with points earned from rewards, that’s an option worth looking into.) Whatever you decide to do, ensure you’ve read the institution’s policies to be aware of what you can anticipate.
Also, one thing to keep in mind when making every purchase with a credit card is that regardless of the great rewards are. It’s not a great idea to spend more than you can afford. No matter how fast you plan to pay off the debt, make sure you don’t use more than 30 percent of the credit available — doing this could negatively affect your credit score, which could have long-term implications.
Similar to other credit card purchases, make sure that you are spending within your budget and settle your balance in full as feasible to ensure that interest doesn’t begin to accumulate.