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It’s hard work knowing what to give a loved one as a gift. Which is probably why Americans have fallen in love with gift cards.
In fact, according to a survey by WalletHub, gift cards are the most desired of presents.
If you’re considering gift cards as presents, the question you probably want answered is, “Can I buy gift cards with my credit card?”.
The answer is yes, but you should do so with care. Here’s why. Oh, and we’re also going to show you a great way to do so.
Why Do Gift Cards Make Such Popular Gifts to Give?
Gift cards are popular gifts to give. In a survey by Gift Card Granny, it was found that a huge 93% of Americans have given or sent gift cards. It’s not hard to understand why:
- As the gift giver, you probably worry about what to buy for others. You might agonize for hours, days, or even weeks about whether your gift idea will be loved or loathed. You may ask others what someone might like to receive or use covert methods to discover such secrets yourself. Buying the perfect gift is an awful lot of hard work.
- Time is another factor. Whether buying gifts for one person or a dozen, it takes time to choose and purchase your gifts. And during gift giving season, that time can easily treble. You might also return home a little battered and bruised from the bumping and bashing you received among the hordes of gift buyers.
- It’s easy to overspend, too, as you try to buy gifts that are equally as good for family and friends to prevent arguments about who got the better or more expensive gift.
Buying gift cards removes all these worries. You won’t overspend, but instead stick to the budget you set. The gift cards you give will mean that the recipient gets to choose what they really want – there won’t be arguments about whose gift was the best.
You won’t need to spend hours hunting through shelves of clothes, perfumes, jewelry, and other gift options. You join the line straight away and buy a gift card at the cash register. Or, using an online service such as cardpool.com, you can purchase gift cards from the comfort of your own home, without the hassle of being jostled in the streets and shops.
Some people think that gift cards are impersonal and given with little thought. But this really isn’t true. If you want to buy the perfect gift, a gift card is it. Here are a few reasons why people love receiving gift cards.
Gift cards guarantee the recipient gets the gift they want
Gift cards make the ideal gift for people you know well and those you don’t know so well. They let people choose the exact gift they desire. If you want to buy a special gift for a bookworm, then a gift token makes certain that you don’t gift them a book they already have, or a book that they unwrap from someone else immediately before yours.
Think about the person you are buying for, and then buy a gift card from their favorite store or supplier.
If you don’t know the recipient that well, you could give them a gift card from Amazon – among the top 10 gift cards in the United States, and for good reason: Amazon sells just about everything.
Gift cards make receiving more fun
Opening a gift is a fun experience, but, even if it’s a gift you love, the excitement subsides quickly – almost as soon as the gift is unwrapped, looked at and put down.
A gift card is different. The excitement slowly builds up. When you receive a gift card, you become the one who starts to plan what to buy. You might visit the store or search online. Your anticipation grows as you shop, and the excitement pops when you get the gift home or receive it in the mail.
No unwanted trips to return unwanted gifts
There’s no mistake when you give a gift card. The recipient chooses their own gift, and that means no returns need to be made. There’s no embarrassment for the giver or the recipient, and no wasted time waiting in the post-holiday returns line.
What You Need to Know about Buying Gift Cards with a Credit Card
You can buy gift cards almost anywhere today. This includes grocery stores, convenience stores, drugstores and gas stations. All the major retailers offer gift cards, as do many of the warehouse clubs. Before you head to the stores, though, there are a couple of things you need to know.
First, you might be asked to present your ID. This is to fight credit card fraud. Stolen credit cards are often used to buy gift cards, because this makes it easier to steal money from the credit card.
Second, different stores have different credit card policies when you use a credit card to buy gift cards. Some chains may ban certain cards across all their stores, while single stores may also have a credit card ban imposed if they are in an area where credit card fraud is high.
Not all store staff are up to date on current policy, either. So, you could be unlucky and be refused because the clerk serving you is working to the wrong rules.
Your credit card issuer could also cause you aggravation. Again, in the battle against credit card fraud the issuer might request that you confirm your purchase on your mobile device. This could mean canceling the transaction and trying again.
To ensure these potential issues don’t become annoying problems, you should:
- Check ahead to make sure that your credit card will be accepted as payment for gift cards at the cash register
- Always carry photographic ID with you
- Carry a second card in case your first is rejected because of a fraud check
What Types of Gift Card Can You Buy with a Credit Card?
There are two types of gift card you could buy:
1. Store-specific gift cards
Store-specific gift cards can only be used in the store or chain where they are bought. You should be certain that the recipient of your gift uses the store. Remember, too, that these cards may lose their value if the store goes bust before the gift card is spent.
2. Generic gift cards
Generic gift cards can be used wherever the gift card is accepted. These are usually linked to major credit cards (such as the American Express gift card or Visa gift card). Generic gift cards usually charge a fee on top of their face value – so be prepared to pay $2 or more per card should you choose this type of card as a gift.
What Is the Best Way to Buy Gift Cards?
The best way for you to buy gift cards with a credit card depends on what type of person you are, how much you value your time, and how much you like shopping – especially in crowded stores.
If you love spending hours visiting crowded shops in the cold and rain, getting crushed by other consumers, and risking rejection of your credit card at the cash register because of instore rules or card issuer fraud checks, then a day or two at the shopping mall or on main street is beckoning.
On the other hand, you could do your gift card shopping in the comfort of your own home. Make a list of which cards to buy for who, log on to an online gift card store, and your gift shopping could be done in minutes.
Woah! Hold on a minute. An online gift card store? Let me explain.
Online Gift Card Stores
The gift card market in the United States is huge and growing. According to data from Statista, gift card sales have increased from $91 billion in 2010 to around $160 billion in 2018. Online sales are helping to explode spending on gift cards, and ecommerce businesses have realized the potential of this market.
You could visit each retailer’s website and purchase gift cards direct. You may need to set up multiple accounts. You’ll need to spend more time on your laptop or mobile device, entering your credit card details time and again.
A smarter way to shop for gift cards is to visit a specialist online gift card retailer. You can buy all your gift cards in one place, saving a heap of time. And by adding them all to your online shopping cart, you’ll have just one transaction on your credit card. Here are four of the best:
You can buy gift cards from around 200 well-known brands on eGifter using your credit card. You can personalize messages easily and add video or animation when you send the gift card electronically.
CardCash offers discounts as high as 35% on the gift cards available on its site, though these discounts depend on demand – the higher the demand, the lower the discount. Average savings are around 12%.
GiftCards.com allows a high degree of personalization on the gift cards on its site and offers cards from more than 110 of America’s most popular retailers. You can order both online and physical gift cards, with discounts of up to 30%.
Cardpool is our pick of the online gift card stores. With gift cards from hundreds of restaurants, department stores, movies theatres, and more available, you really are spoiled for choice on this site.
Discounts available on Cardpool are among the highest available, with savings of as high as 35% a regular feature.
Cardpool is easy to use and verifies the authenticity of all the gift cards it lists before putting them online. The gift cards you purchase on Cardpool are also guaranteed for up to 100 days after purchase – perfect for those rare occasions that you want a refund.
Your purchase will arrive within seven business days, though often will be as fast as three business days. And if you really aren’t sure which gift card to buy as a gift, you can let your recipient choose, because Cardpool also sells its own gift cards that can be used to purchase any other gift card on its site.
Buy Gift Cards with Credit Cards to Get Cashback and Rewards
When you spend on credit cards, many offer cashback and rewards such as airmiles. While not all credit card issuers treat gift card purchases as equal to other purchases (instead treating them like cash advances for their reward programs), many do.
In other words, as well as benefitting from the discounts you can find when you purchase gift cards online, you can also claim your credit card issuer’s rewards. Read your credit card’s terms and conditions and choose the credit card you use wisely. For example:
- If you are saving for a big vacation, buy your gift cards with a credit card that rewards you with airmiles
- If you have a high grocery spend, use a credit card that rewards you with cashback at your favorite grocery store
- If you are a shopaholic, buy your gift cards with a credit card that gives cash back everywhere you shop
Can You Buy Gift Cards with Your Credit Card? You Certainly Should.
Giving gift cards as gifts makes a lot of sense. You’ll save time, your shopping will be more relaxed, and the recipients of your gifts will never be disappointed.
Buying your gift cards online saves even more time and can save you a lot of money. It’s convenient and easy to do, and the discounts available mean you will comfortably stay within your budget. Better still, you could even earn rewards from your credit card for saving money by purchasing gift cards from an online gift card retailer like Cardpool.
(If you’re a convert to gift cards, you’ll also love our article ‘The Ultimate List on How to Get Free Gift Cards’)