Can You Buy Gift Cards With a Credit Card?

Quick Answer

Yes, you can buy gift cards with a credit card, in most cases. Not all card issuers allow you to earn rewards, and some may treat the purchase as a cash advance.

A woman handing her credit card to a cashier.

At Experian, one of our priorities is consumer credit and finance education. This post may contain links and references to one or more of our partners, but we provide an objective view to help you make the best decisions. For more information, see our Editorial Policy.

Gift cards are simple, versatile and easy to buy. If you're planning to buy a gift card with a credit card, you may be wondering whether you're even allowed.

Yes, you can buy gift cards with a credit card, but you may want to check with your card issuer before doing so. There may be some restrictions and costs to consider first.

Reasons to Buy a Gift Card With a Credit Card

There are a number of reasons you may want to use a credit card to buy a gift card.

Earn Rewards

Many credit cards offer cash back, miles or points on purchases. You can maximize the rewards you earn by buying gift cards with your rewards credit card, especially if you're purchasing a gift card for a birthday, holiday or other special occasion.

After you've accumulated enough of them, your rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, account deposits, flights, hotel stays and more depending on your credit card's rewards structure.

Earn a Welcome Bonus

As a new cardholder, you can often snag a lucrative welcome bonus by meeting the minimum spending requirements in the first few months of card opening. Buying gift cards with your credit card is one way to meet the spending criteria. Some credit cards offer a welcome bonus high enough to cover a flight or hotel stay, making it a win-win for you.

Take Advantage of Limited Offers

Certain rewards credit cards feature rotating bonus categories, which allow you to earn higher rewards on specific purchases. Buying gift cards from qualifying retailers, like a home improvement store or restaurant, is one way to take advantage of the bonus categories. Make sure you read the terms and conditions for any exclusions that may apply to gift card purchases.

Keep an eye out for limited-time offers from your card issuer. These offers provide opportunities to earn rewards on qualifying purchases. Buying a gift card can help you take advantage of these offers before they expire.


Your credit card is often the most convenient payment method, especially when it's your only payment option or you're already using your credit card to purchase other items during your shopping trip. Using your credit card to buy gift cards means you can stick to a single payment method.

Find the best rewards credit cards with Experian.

Is Buying Gift Cards With a Credit Card Considered a Cash Advance?

Buying a gift card with a credit card generally isn't considered a cash advance, but it could be with certain card issuers. If your card issuer treats gift card purchases like a cash advance, it'll cost you more than you think. That's because cash advances are charged a cash advance fee and a higher interest rate. There's no grace period for avoiding finance charges, even if you pay your balance in full.

To be on the safe side, check your credit card agreement or contact customer service to confirm whether buying a gift card with your credit card would be treated as a cash advance.

Is It a Good Idea to Buy Gift Cards With a Credit Card?

Buying gift cards with a credit card can be good for earning rewards just like any other purchase, as long as gift card purchases aren't excluded.

Some credit cards consider gift card purchase as cash equivalent transactions and therefore may not allow you to earn rewards on your purchase. In addition, you may lose the ability to earn rewards if you're suspected of abusing or gaming the rewards program. To keep your rewards privileges, buy gift cards as needed rather than trying to game the system.

You may lose some flexibility and purchase protections when you buy gift cards with a credit card. For instance, you'll lose your ability to dispute fraudulent or unauthorized transactions. Gift cards don't come with benefits like extended warranty and purchase protection.

Some stores may limit or restrict the purchase of gift cards with a credit card. With these retailers, you'll have to use another form of payment.

Lastly, be cautious about purchasing gift cards thinking it's free money. If you're not careful, you could overspend and get into more debt than you can handle. As a rule of thumb, you should only use your credit card to spend what you can afford to pay back. Then, pay your balance in full and on time each month to avoid interest and penalty fees. Otherwise, the additional costs could offset the rewards you earn.

The Bottom Line

Gift cards are a convenient purchase with a variety of uses. You can purchase them as gifts or even use them as a budgeting tool. If your card issuer allows it, you'll earn rewards when you buy gift cards with a credit card.

Don't have a rewards credit card? Check out some of your options to start earning rewards on your purchases.