Key takeaways

  • You can easily buy gift cards with a credit card at all sorts of retailers, from the grocery store down the street to your local Walmart store.
  • There are a range of gift cards you can purchase online with credit as well, many of which can be delivered to you digitally.
  • Buying gift cards with a credit card lets you earn rewards for each dollar spent, and you can earn more rewards if your gift card purchase falls within your card's bonus categories.

There are many reasons to buy gift cards with a credit card, including for convenience. If you’re buying groceries at the supermarket and planning to pay with plastic, for example, there’s no reason not to add that gift card you need for an upcoming event to your cart.

Aside from random gift card purchases for occasions like birthdays or teacher gifts, some people also go out of their way to buy gift cards with a credit card in order to earn rewards or save money on a specific purchase. For example, Disney enthusiasts might buy gift cards to Disney parks when they’re on discount at Costco stores, and then use their supply of gift cards to help cover part of what is typically a very expensive trip.

“Can I buy a gift card with a credit card?” is a common question among consumers, and you should know the answer is a resounding yes. With that being said, you should make sure you understand the pros and cons, along with the potential pitfalls, before doing so.

How to buy gift cards with a credit card

Buying gift cards in person is a breeze, regardless of how you decide to pay. When you buy a gift card with a credit card in person, you simply bring the gift card to the register and choose credit as your form of payment.

The scene is similar when you buy a gift card online and pay with a credit card. If you want to buy an gift card online, for example, you would simply head to and opt for a physical gift card that can be mailed to you, an electronic gift card you can print at home or a digital gift card you can redeem via email. From there, you add the gift card to your online cart and proceed to the payment page as normal.

Plenty of other websites let you buy gift cards and pay with a credit card using a similar method, including, and

Can you earn credit card rewards doing so?

One major benefit of using a credit card to pay for gift cards is the fact you can earn rewards on your purchase. If you plan to give someone a $50 gift card for their birthday, for example, you could buy a gift card with plastic and earn points or cash back on that purchase. If you gave the recipient a $50 bill instead, you wouldn’t earn any rewards.

That said, make sure you pick the right type of rewards credit card for your gift card purchase. Some rewards credit cards only let you earn cash back, while others offer flexible rewards or points you can use in a specific airline or hotel program.

On top of picking a card with the type of rewards you want, you can also look for cards that offer bonus rewards in specific categories that can include gift card purchases. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a stellar option for buying gift cards at U.S. supermarkets since it earns:

  • 6 percent back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (1 percent after that)
  • 6 percent back on select U.S. streaming services
  • 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations and on transit
  • 1 percent back on all other purchases

Meanwhile, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is another solid option if you buy gift cards at drugstores, as it earns:

  • 5 percent back on travel booked through Chase Travel℠
  • 5 percent back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025)
  • 3 percent back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5 percent back on all other purchases

If you have a small business or you’re an entrepreneur, you can also consider using a business rewards card to make strategic gift cards purchases. The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is popular for buying gift cards at stores like Staples and Office Depot since it earns:

  • 5 percent back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year (then 1 percent back)
  • 2 percent cash back on the first $25,000 spent each year at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary
  • 1 percent cash back on other purchases

Why should you purchase gift cards with a credit card?

There are plenty of reasons to consider buying gift cards with a credit card, some of which we outlined already. Some benefits include:

  • Convenience: Buying gift cards with a credit card may just be a matter of convenience, and that’s perfectly okay. If you’re purchasing other items and you plan to pay with credit, you might as well charge your gift card purchase along with everything else.
  • Potential to earn rewards: You may be able to earn cash back or travel points for gift card purchases, although how much you’ll earn depends on the cash back credit card or rewards credit card you have.
  • Potential to save money: Gift cards can sometimes be bought at a discount with your credit card, meaning that you can buy a card that’s worth, say, $50 and not actually spend $50 on it. You can then use these discounted gift cards to save money on large purchases down the line.

Why you might not want to purchase gift cards with a credit card

There’s nothing wrong with paying for gift cards with a credit card, but you should know about potential pitfalls that can apply. Those pitfalls can include:

  • Gift card limits: Some retailers limit the number of gift cards you can buy when you pay with a credit card. If you’re unaware of these policies and you head to the register with a stack of gift cards in hand, you could find yourself in an embarrassing situation.
  • Threats about not earning rewards: Some rewards credit cards also claim in the fine print that you won’t earn any cash back or points. With the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card*, for example, the terms and conditions state you earn rewards on “eligible purchases,” and that this does not include “fees or interest charges, cash advances, purchases of traveler’s checks, purchases or reloading of prepaid cards, purchases of gift cards, person-to-person payments or purchases of any cash equivalents.” But even cards that have this in the fine print will sometimes still earn points on these purchases, so the issuer’s rules can be unclear.
  • Costly credit card interest: Finally, you shouldn’t buy gift cards with a credit card if you plan to carry a balance from one month to the next. If you do, the high credit card interest rates you’ll pay will wipe out any benefit you get from paying with plastic, including any rewards you earned.

Does purchasing a gift card count as a cash advance?

You should also be aware that some credit cards threaten to treat gift card purchases as a cash advance. In this case, you could be charged a cash advance fee and a higher interest rate as well.

Generally speaking, gift cards code as a cash advance when you buy them directly from a financial institution or when you buy a prepaid card instead of a gift card. However, you can typically get around this by buying gift cards within your normal shopping, such as in your weekly grocery haul at the supermarket.

You can also typically get around dealing with surprise cash advance fees by asking retailers if their gift cards code as a cash advance or purchase before you buy, or you can call your card issuer and ask them to turn off cash advances on your card altogether.

The bottom line

You can absolutely buy gift cards with a credit card instead of cash or debit, but you should only do so with a plan. If you buy gift cards with plastic and don’t pay your balance in full, for example, you’ll wind up paying credit card interest on your revolving balance each month. Not only that, but you should make sure any gift card purchase you’re planning won’t trigger a cash advance fee.

If you know the risks, you can earn considerable rewards when you buy gift cards with a credit card. That’s true whether you plan to use the gift cards yourself or you’re truly buying gift cards as a gift for someone else.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about buying gift cards with a credit card

  • Yes, you can purchase Visa gift cards with a credit card. Many supermarkets and drugstores offer reloadable Visa gift cards you can buy with plastic and fund with anywhere from $25 to $500. However, purchase fees of $2.95 to $6.95 can apply. You’ll also want to make sure your issuer won’t count the purchase as a cash advance.
  • Walmart lets customers purchase gift cards with a credit card, and you can make gift card purchases in the same transaction as all your other purchases.
  • Some gas stations, supermarkets and drugstores will let you purchase a prepaid card with a credit card. However, upfront fees can apply. These can also sometimes be coded as a cash advance to your issuer, which will mean paying costly cash advance fees. It’s best to ask what the purchase will be coded as before swiping.

*The information about the Amex EveryDay Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.