Can You Buy a Gift Card with a Gift Card? The General Policies Explained

Gift card

Gift cards are a popular and convenient way to give gifts, but sometimes you may find yourself in a situation where you want to use one gift card to purchase another. Maybe you have a gift card that you don’t think you will use, or maybe you want to combine the balances of multiple gift cards into one. Can you really do that?

The short answer is: yes, in many cases, you can use a gift card to buy another gift card. However, there are a few important things to know about this process. In this article, we will break down the details so you can understand when and how you can use a gift card to purchase another gift card.

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What is Gift card

First off, before we dive in, let’s first understand what a Gift card is. A gift card is like money on a card that you can use to buy stuff at certain stores or online. It is a prepaid card, which means you load it with money before you use it. There are two main types of gift cards and they are:

  • Closed-Loop Gift Cards: These can only be used at specific retailers or merchants. They are not reloadable, and once the balance is spent, they cannot be used again.
  • Open-Loop Gift Cards: These can be used at a wider variety of locations and may also be used to withdraw cash at ATMs. They may allow for cash withdrawals and can sometimes be reloaded with more money.

Gift cards are convenient for both the giver and the receiver, as they allow the receiver to choose their own gift within the restrictions set by the issuer, such as the validity period and businesses that accept the card. They are a popular choice for gifts and rewards because they offer flexibility and are safer than cash since many can be registered online to track and freeze the balance if lost.

So let’s start back to our question.

Can You Use a Gift Card to Buy Another Gift Card?

The good news is that you can often use a gift card to buy another gift card, but there are a few caveats:

  • Merchant Policies: Different retailers and merchants have their own policies when it comes to using gift cards to purchase other gift cards. Some may allow it, while others may restrict or prohibit it.
  • Gift Card Type: The type of gift card you have can also make a difference. For example, you may be able to use a Visa or Mastercard gift card to buy another retailer-specific gift card, but not the other way around.
  • Purchase Limits: Even if a merchant does allow you to use a gift card to buy another, they may have limits on the amount you can purchase or the number of transactions.

So the bottom line is that it’s generally possible to use a gift card to buy another gift card, but you will need to check the specific policies of the retailer you are purchasing from. Their rules will determine whether and how you can make this type of transaction.

How to Use a Gift Card to Buy Another Gift Card

If you decide you want to use a gift card to purchase another one, here are the typical steps you can follow:

  • Check the Merchant’s Policy: Before attempting the transaction, contact the retailer or check their website to understand their specific rules around using gift cards to buy other gift cards.
  • Ensure Sufficient Balance: Make sure the gift card you want to use has enough remaining balance to cover the cost of the new gift card you are trying to buy.
  • Head to the Checkout: When you are ready to make the purchase, proceed to the checkout as you normally would, and select the option to pay with a gift card.
  • Enter the Gift Card Details: You will need to enter the card number, expiration date, and security code of the gift card you’re using to make the purchase.
  • Complete the Transaction: Finish the checkout process, and you should have your new gift card in hand (or the digital version if it’s an e-gift card).

It’s worth noting that some merchants may require you to make the purchase in-store rather than online, so be sure to check their policies ahead of time.

Things to Keep in Mind

While using a gift card to buy another gift card can be a useful strategy, there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Potential Fees: Some retailers may charge a fee for this type of transaction, so be aware of any additional costs.
  • Impact on Rewards: Using a gift card to purchase another gift card may not qualify for rewards or cash back, depending on your credit card’s policies.
  • Expiration Dates: Make sure to keep track of the expiration dates on both the original gift card and the new one you purchase.
  • Retailer Restrictions: As mentioned earlier, not all merchants will allow you to use a gift card to buy another one, so always check their policies first.

By being mindful of these potential pitfalls, you can ensure a smooth and successful experience when using a gift card to purchase another.

The Bottom Line

In the world of gift cards, the ability to use one card to buy another can be a valuable tool for managing your balances, consolidating funds, and maximizing your options. While not every retailer will allow this type of transaction, it’s generally possible in many cases.

Just be sure to do your research, understand the merchant’s policies, and keep an eye out for any potential fees or restrictions. With a little bit of planning and attention to the details, you can effectively leverage your gift cards to suit your needs and preferences.

So the next time you have a gift card you don’t think you’ll use, consider using it to purchase a new one that better fits your shopping habits or desired retailer. It’s a simple way to get the most out of your gift card balances and ensure you don’t let any value go to waste.