Looking to win millions? You can't use your American Express or Discover card to get the chance. Both companies prohibit cardholders from buying lottery tickets with their credit cards. Chao calls the purchases "high-risk business activities."
Besides the card companies, some states, including Connecticut, Iowa, Wisconsin and California, prohibit the purchase of lotto tickets with credit cards. Even in states that allow the practice, the retailer may turn you down.
"Lotteries often leave the decision up to the retailers," says Tom Tulloch, director of administration for the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries. "Often retailers are reluctant to accept credit cards for lottery purchases (because) their sales commission is reduced by the swipe fees they would have to pay on the transaction."
Visa and MasterCard declined to comment on their policies toward purchases of lottery tickets.