Home > Personal Finance > How Can You Get Credit Card Rewards for Buying Gift Cards?

Comments 0 Comments
Advertiser Disclosure


The gift card market is worth more than $130 billion annually. Is that any surprise? You’ve probably bought at least one gift card in the past year for a friend or family member. It’s an easy way to show someone appreciation and to make sure they can get whatever they want. But what if we told you both you and the gift-giver can benefit from gift cards? That’s right—you can get credit card rewards for buying gift cards.

How Can Buying Gift Cards Earn You Rewards?

If you have a rewards credit card, you earn points or miles on some—or all—of your purchases. Unless your credit card terms of service say gift card purchases don’t count for rewards, you can get points or miles when you use your credit card to buy a gift card.

For example, let’s say you earn one point per dollar spent. You’re planning to buy your mom a $50 gift card for her birthday and your niece a $25 gift card for her special day. Use a credit card to buy those gift cards at retailers, and you can earn 75 points just for buying gifts you were already going to purchase.

Maximizing Rewards When Buying Gift Cards

But it does get better. If you plan ahead just a little, you can maximize the rewards you get. For example, imagine you want to buy a $100 gift card for a couple for their wedding.

Your credit card gives you one point per dollar for any purchase. You could buy that gift card at a department store or drug store and earn 100 points. But what if you get three points per dollar when you shop at grocery stores? You may be able to purchase the gift card at a grocery store and earn 300 points.

But you don’t have to limit your gift card rewards earning to actualgifts. Are you planning to buy an appliance from a store such as Best Buy? Imagine it’s going to cost around $500. You might purchase $500 in Best Buy gift cards at the grocery store with your credit card and use them to buy the appliance. And if you’re earning three points per dollar, that’s 1,500 points!

Use Gift Card Purchases to Meet Signup Bonus Requirements

If your new credit card requires you to spend $3,000 in three months to get the signup bonus points, gift cards might help you get there. Perhaps you’ve spent $2,000, but you really don’t need anything else. You don’t want to spend $1,000 on random things just to earn the bonus points. But you could buy $1,000 worth of grocery, restaurant and other gift cards that you can use to fund your life in the next few months.

Avoid Abusing the System

Of course, you need to approach getting rewards from buying gift cards with moderation. If a credit card company thinks you’re abusing the system, they may cancel your points—or even your account.

So how could you abuse the system? If you’re spending thousands a month buying gift cards at grocery stores to maximize category rewards points and then selling those cards to friends, that’s abuse.

But imagine that you need to buy medication and other supplies at a drug store every month. If those costs are around $150, you might use your credit card to buy a $150 gift card at a grocery store chain every month. That’s because the credit card in question gives you six points per dollar spent at grocery stores.

You’ll earn an extra 900 points a month, while buying medications you already would be paying for. That probably won’t be seen as abuse.

Should You Use Credit Card Rewards for Gift Cards?

This really isn’t a two-way street. While you canuse credit card rewards to get gift cards in most cases, it’s usually the most expensive way to redeem your rewards. That’s because you need more points for every dollar redeemed on gift cards than you might on travel rewards or other options.

Reward Credit Cards

If you’re planning to use your credit card to buy gift cards at grocery stores or other retailers to earn more rewards, make sure it’s allowed first. If you don’t already have a rewards card, you can shop for one in Credit.com’s credit card marketplace. Here are a few options:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, which lets you earn one point for every dollar spent and comes with a generous signup bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply Now
on Chase's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:

Ongoing Apr:
15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Balance Transfer:
15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

Credit Needed:
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.

Card Details +

  • Mastercard Black Card, which lets you earn 1.5% cash back or 2% airfare rewards

Mastercard® Black Card™

Apply Now
on Luxury Card's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:

Ongoing Apr:

Balance Transfer:
0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that, your APR will be 14.99%.

Annual Fee:
$495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account)

Credit Needed:
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Patented black-PVD-coated metal card—weighing 22 grams.
  • 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat. Around-the-clock service to help you save time and manage tasks big and small.
  • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, room upgrades, free wifi, breakfast for two and more) at over 3,000 properties.
  • Annual Airline Credit—up to $100 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry.
  • Enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest limit. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
  • Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus additional World Elite Mastercard® benefits.
  • Annual Fee: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User). Terms and conditions apply.

Card Details +

  • TD Cash Credit Card, which lets you earn 2% cash back at grocery stores among other perks

TD Cash Credit Card

Apply Now
on TD Bank's secure website
Card Details
Intro Apr:
0% Introductory APR for 6 months on purchases

Ongoing Apr:
12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99% (Variable)

Balance Transfer:
0% Introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers

Annual Fee:

Credit Needed:
Snapshot of Card Features
  • Earn $150 Cash Back when you spend $500 within 90 days after account opening
  • Earn 3% Cash Back on dining
  • Earn 2% Cash Back at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% Cash Back on all other eligible purchases
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Visa Zero Liability
  • Instant credit card replacement
  • Digital Wallet
  • Contactless Payments

Card Details +

Want to Get Approved? Have a Good Credit Score

Getting approved for top rewards cards does usually require good credit. Before you apply, make sure you know where you stand. Consider signing up for ExtraCredit to get details about your credit score as well as cash-back rewards when you’re approved for certain offers, including credit cards.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them. Compensation is not a factor in the substantive evaluation of any product.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team