Why Can't You Buy Gift Cards With Gift Cards? Answering Your Questions!

If you’ve ever had a question about how gift cards work and what you can and can’t do with them, we’ve got the answers.

Gift cards themselves may have not been around forever, but gift certificates have been traced back as far as the early 1900s. Large corporations back then would offer gift certificates to their loyal members and in turn they would be able to get the products they love, along with deals and steals they wouldn’t normally have. That may sound familiar to those of you who have worked at corporations during the holiday season or when your “start day” anniversary comes by as some people in management will give out gift cards as a thank you for all the hard work you’ve done.

But this well timed tradition didn’t start picking up traction until the famous fast food chain McDonald’s started giving out Christmas gift certificates as a part of their very first “Gift Certificate Program” and through word of mouth that quickly became popular, leading other big and small businesses to follow suit. 

Though it wasn’t all good and merry after that as tracking paper certificates was difficult and easily replicated by printers and copiers. People could make their own gift certificates and that led to problems. 

Soon that changed when Blockbuster, the old American video rental store, was the first company considered to successfully mass market the gift card- (although Neiman Marcus was the first person to officially sell gift cards), Blockbuster has been said to put gift cards on the map like no others did.

Blockbuster was the place to go to for any of your movies, video games, and streaming videos before streaming videos was actually a thing. And it makes sense that they had a hand in making the gift card that we know today. They advertised plastic cards that wouldn’t work until you got to the register, thus leading to many different businesses to also hop on the train.

Eventually gift cards were refined over and over to what we know today. You can pick gift cards up at your local grocery and/or convenient store and more recently popular: online.

With places like GiftYa you can buy and send virtual gift cards to anyone around the country instantly- but more on that later.

First we have to answer the question you’re here for: “why can’t you buy gift cards with gift cards?” And other related questions like:

  • Can I use an Amazon gift card to buy other gift cards?
  • Can I buy a gift card with a gift card at CVS or other pharmacies?
  • Can I buy a gift card with a Walmart gift card?
  • Can I buy a Visa gift card with another Visa gift card?
  • How do I convert gift cards to cash?
  • Can I swap one gift card for another gift card?

Why can’t you buy gift cards with gift cards?

In 2009 the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act was passed and that put some much needed rules and regulations on what you can and can’t do when it comes to selling gift cards. For instance, gift card expiration dates have a minimum five year policy- meaning gift cards you come across will still be valid for five years after purchase. Businesses and corporations can’t enact “inactivity” and/or “service” fees until 12 months after purchase. 

But with that Act there’s nothing stating anything concrete on buying gift cards with gift cards, so the answer to why you can’t do that becomes a bit blurred.

Since there is no clear cut answer both federally and by state on if you can buy gift cards with other gift cards the real answer to the question is dependent on the company itself. Management from different stores, restaurants, and other businesses will be the ones to decide on if you can buy gift cards with gift cards.

In general it’ll be down to a couple factors:

  1. What type of gift card you use (i.e. a lot of vendors will let you use a Visa or MasterCard gift card at their store)
  2. The policy of the company

Gift cards are a great way to attract new customers and some brands don’t want their money spent on competing vendors. 

But besides that there comes a big risk of buying gift cards with gift cards and that’s fraud. Companies want to prevent potential money-laundering schemes and gift cards are a go-to way for a lot of scammers to get away with crimes. 

The best thing to do is to look on the back of your gift card and read the fine print on the back and to ask the store about their purchasing policies.

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There’s so many questions when it comes to buying gift cards!

Can I use an Amazon gift card to buy other gift cards?

Amazon. The destination for your online shopping needs. If you’re at all online there’s a really good chance you’ve shopped with or at least heard of Amazon. And one of the most popular gifts you can get someone in this day and age is an Amazon gift card. 

Since you’re here about buying gift cards with gift cards you might be interested in seeing if you can use an Amazon gift card to buy other gift cards…

And it looks like the answer is: no you can’t use an Amazon gift card to buy other gift cards.

According to the “Amazon.com Balance and Amazon.com Gift Card Terms and Conditions your Amazon.com Balance cannot be used to purchase other Gift Cards, prepaid open loop cards, or certain third-party gift cards.”

Can I buy a gift card with a gift card at CVS or other pharmacies?

When you’re shopping for holiday gifts, a go-to present is a gift card. They’re easy to buy and make for a good and easy gift especially if it’s for someone that’s long distance, a person you don’t know super intimately, a last minute gift on top of others you’ve gotten them, and/or for your fellow employees/coworkers. And a go-to place to get your gift cards is your local CVS/Pharmacy. They normally have racks where you can find rows of different gift cards to all different kinds of places. 

So it’s a good question to ask about if you can buy a gift card with a gift card at CVS or other pharmacies…

And it looks like the answer is: no you can’t buy a gift card with a gift card at CVS (though the answer is less clear than Amazon’s).

But, according to GiftCard Partners they’ve stated that “Yes, while the standard CVS® gift cards can be used to purchase merchandise, including prescriptions or co-pays, they cannot be used to purchase prepaid cards or any money order product.”

Can I buy a gift card with a Walmart gift card?

Just like Amazon, CVS, and other pharmacies alike, the superstore Walmart is also a popular place to get both merchandise of much variety and gift cards to various other places. 

That leads us to the question of if you can buy a gift card with a Walmart gift card…

And it looks like the answer is: no you can not buy a gift card with a Walmart gift card.

Thanks to our sister site Gift Card Granny, they broke down the do’s and don'ts when it comes to Walmart gift cards and they answered this specific question by saying “...You cannot pay for another gift card using a Walmart gift card – you must purchase a retail item or some sort of service from Walmart.”

Can I buy a Visa gift card with another Visa gift card?

Most gift cards out there are for only one specific store and/or restaurant. That’s the beauty of gift cards, you can use it to buy things from that specific place and not have to worry about debating on using the money gift for something else or saving it for something practical. It’s a way to treat yourself to something special at one of your favorite places to go to. But one gift card that you can use and it’s not limited to just one store is a Visa gift card. Visa gift cards are great because you can go to many different establishments to use it. Visa gift cards are essentially a version of your debit/credit card but with a prepaid limit, and just like regular gift cards when you use it up you’re done! 

Now that you know a little bit about the wonders of Visa gift cards and their functionality, you might be interested to know if it’s possible to buy a Visa gift card with another Visa gift card…

And it looks like the answer is: yes you can buy a Visa gift card with another Visa gift card.

According to wsecu.org “you can purchase a new Visa gift card using your current Visa gift card. There may be a charge for this purchase, which will be displayed when you order.”

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We’ve answered why can’t you buy gift cards with gift cards, now’s the time to answer your other burning questions…

How do I convert gift cards to cash?

Gift cards are great, we’ve established that many people both give them out and receive them every year- but sometimes you don’t necessarily want a gift card as you need cash more at the moment in time. So if you’ve got yourself a gift card, or maybe you have many old gift cards that have been sitting around for a while and you’ve yet to and will likely never use them, and you want to convert them to cash then you’ve come to the right place because we’re gonna lay out a few ways for you to do that but with a small fee depending on the route you take.

  1. Visit sites like Raise, CardCash, and other Gift Card Exchange websites where you can sell gift cards and get most of the cash back. And what we mean by most is that these sites will take out a small percentage of the card’s value away. For example if you’re selling a Target gift card that’s valued at $25 then you will probably get $21-24 back. (Do your research and see which website gets you the most bang for your buck).
  2. Ask your friends and family. There’s no harm in doing a little in real life exchange. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and your loved ones will be interested in trading some cash for your gift cards. And maybe you can get the full value back out of that.
  3. Check to see if your local grocer or convenient store has Gift Card Kiosks. Some of these places will have these kiosks located in their stores where you can put your unwanted gift cards in and get cash back instantly.

There’s a few different ways you can convert gift cards to cash.

Can I swap one gift card for another gift card?

Remember at the beginning when we teased talking about GiftYa? Well prepare to venture into what makes GiftYa great because they are the place to swap one gift card for another gift card. 

GiftYa is an online vendor that sells digital gift cards to restaurants, online stores, well known retailers, and local businesses close to you! You can personalize the gift card with a fun message and gift wrapping and instead of having to wait for the card to come via mail you instead can text or email the card to the recipient in just a few seconds. 

And with GiftYa you can swap one gift card for another gift card too. When you receive your GiftYa gift card visa text or email you will have the option to “Swap for a different merchant.” That way if the place you got the gift card for isn’t somewhere you’d go to, the person’s money won’t go to waste as you can choose from GiftYa’s many different businesses and brands.

With GiftYa your gift card buying will be more flexible than any old regular gift card, so see how it works and all the options you can explore here.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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