Most credit card issuers offer several ways to pay your bill or balance, but a gift card is not usually one of the options. Even prepaid gift cards, which tend to look and work like debit cards, are rarely accepted for credit card payments. In this article, we'll explain some important concepts around using gift cards to pay off credit card bills.
Can you use gift cards to pay off a credit card?
Unfortunately, you cannot use a gift card to pay a credit card directly. Your credit card company may accept several forms of payment. However, when you try to complete a credit card payment, there probably won't be a place to enter gift card information.
Generic gift cards
A popular type available today, a generic gift card closely resembles a debit card. You may notice the logo from a major card network like Visa and Mastercard, too. This type of gift card is activated (or prepaid) with a specific balance. You can use these generic gift cards at many merchants, and sometimes online, but you shouldn't expect to make a credit card payment with one.
Retail or store gift cards
Many merchants sell gift cards that can be redeemed or used exclusively with that merchant, in some cases you may only use the card online or at the store. The money on retail gift cards can be used only toward purchases with that specific merchant, so you won't be able to use a retail gift card to pay a credit card.
It's possible that your gift card is refundable, but the refund could be store credit instead of cash. Consider contacting the merchant about its gift card return policy before attempting to return one. You could also try to sell it privately for some or all of the balance. In either case, any money you receive from a refund or sale of a retail gift card could be put toward a credit card bill.
Can I pay my Visa credit card with a Visa gift card?
It's not likely that you'll be able to use a Visa gift card to pay a Visa credit card. However, some Visa prepaid gift cards allow funds transfers among other Visa cards.
Most prepaid gift cards on payment networks like Visa usually have websites on the physical cards that show where you can review the terms and conditions. They may outline any transfers that are possible among cards on the payment network.
How can you pay your credit card?
The most straightforward ways to pay your credit card debt will be listed on your billing statements or similar notifications. Usually, you can make a payment to your credit card by check, money order, Western Union Quick Collect or electronic payment that draws money from a bank account.
Chase, like many banks, doesn't accept payments from foreign financial institutions. All payments must be drawn in U.S. funds on a U.S. bank with a valid routing number.
Can you pay bills with a gift card?
If there is enough money loaded on it, you may use a gift card to pay some types of bills, but not credit cards. This is because a generic or prepaid gift card can work like a debit card. The merchant determines the payment methods it will accept. Therefore, you may not find out for sure if you can pay a bill with a prepaid card until you try it or review the company's terms for payments.
What can you use a gift card for?
Gift cards typically work like cash: The money on a gift card will apply toward a purchase amount. In general, gift cards can be used for purchases online and in physical stores.
If there's not enough money on a gift card, the purchase amount may be reduced by the gift card's total balance; the rest should be paid with cash or another card. This tends to be true of both generic gift cards and retail or store gift cards.
A gift card is rarely an acceptable payment method for a credit card bill, but check the payment methods that your credit card company accepts. Prepaid gift cards can be generic, issued by payment networks like Visa, and they can be used in many places. Nevertheless, it's unlikely you'll be able to use gift cards to pay off a credit card directly. You'd have to find a way to retrieve the money on the gift card, then you could apply the money to a credit card payment. Although it's far from a straightforward process, in some circumstances you may be able to use a gift card to help pay off a credit card.