Short Answer: You can buy gift cards with your checking account at Amazon and Card Cash. You can also link your checking account to PayPal to buy gift cards from eBay, eGifter, Game Card Delivery, Giftcard Zen, Giftnix, Gyft, PayPal Gifts, Raise (mobile app only), and Target.
In This Article
Where to Buy Gift Cards Online with Your Checking Account
On Amazon, you can buy gift cards with a bank account directly. Amazon is one of the few online retailers that allow shoppers to enter their checking account numbers as a method of payment. To do this, log in to your Amazon account (or sign up for an account), and then click on “Accounts & Lists” in the top right quadrant of the screen. Click the “Payment Options” button in the center of the screen, scroll to the bottom, and select “Personal Checking Accounts.” You’ll need to enter the routing and account numbers, as well as the name on the account and your driver’s license number. Amazon will then save your checking account as a payment option, and you can shop the wide selection of gift cards and eGift cards available on the site.
In addition to allowing you to buy gift cards to hundreds of stores and restaurants, Amazon also sells Visa gift cards that will allow you to shop anywhere Visa is accepted. (See our article if you want to know if you can use a Visa gift card for your next Uber ride.) But be careful — Visa gift cards usually come with a $4.95 or $5.95 purchase fee.
Card Cash allows you to not only purchase gift cards online using a checking account, but it also allows you to buy them at a discount. To pay with a checking account on Card Cash, you’ll need to first create an account. Once you’ve done that, go to your account page by scrolling all the way to the bottom of the page and clicking “Profile.” On the left side of the screen, you’ll see a heading that says “Account Settings” — click “Bank Accounts” under that heading. After clicking “Add Account,” you’ll be asked to enter your checking account routing number, account number, and account type (personal or business). Once you’ve added your account, you’re all set.
By shopping for gift cards on Card Cash, you can save as much as 35% off the face value of a gift card. In addition, you can also use Card Cash to sell gift cards at a discount or trade them for gift cards to other stores. If you know you won’t use a gift card but there is still a balance on it, you can make some of your money back by selling it to Card Cash.
Want to find more stores that will let you shop online with your checking account? Check out our article, Where to Shop Online and Pay with Checking Account Numbers Only.
Where to Buy Gift Cards Online with Your PayPal Account
How to Sign Up and Link a Checking Account
Most online retailers offer the ability to pay with PayPal instead of entering checking account numbers to their websites because PayPal offers helpful security features including dispute resolution, fraud prevention, and purchase protection. It also saves you the time and hassle of linking your checking account to each individual retailer.
If you don’t have a PayPal account, you’ll need to sign up on the PayPal homepage. Select the type of account you’d like to open (business or personal), then enter your name and email and create a password. You’ll then be guided through the steps to link your checking account. If you already have a PayPal account but haven’t linked a checking account, head to your wallet, where you’ll see an option to link a bank account or debit/credit card.
Stores That Accept PayPal and Sell Gift Cards
Once you’ve linked a bank account to your PayPal account, you can buy gift cards online and pay with your checking account by choosing PayPal at checkout at these online stores:
eBay sells both physical and digital gift cards and offers PayPal as a payment option at checkout. You can also sell most gift cards on eBay, but there are restrictions. You can only sell gift cards with a maximum face value of $500, and you cannot sell digital gift cards. eBay also does not allow users to sell American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or Visa gift cards.
eGifter sells gift cards for over 200 retailers and accepts PayPal as a payment option. eGifter also has a social component, giving you the option to give gift cards to others via social media, add a personal message or video, and invite others to chip in for a group gift.
Game Card Delivery
Game Card Delivery sells gift cards specifically associated with online gaming, video games, and entertainment. They exclusively accept payment through PayPal and offer gift cards to PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo, Google Play, Steam, iTunes, Facebook, Skype, Hulu, and more.
Giftnix specializes in digital gift cards for email delivery, and also sells gift cards for fundraisers. In addition to accepting PayPal, they accept debit and credit cards from nearly every processor, including Diner’s Club, JCB, Discover, and American Express.
Gyft specializes in digital gift cards to more than 200 retailers. Digital gift cards bought from Gyft with PayPal are available immediately. You can also use the Gyft mobile app to store gift cards and keep track of balances, which keeps you from having to carry bulky cards in your wallet or worry about losing the card.
With your PayPal account, you can purchase gift cards directly through PayPal Gifts, PayPal’s own storefront for digital gift cards. Note that you cannot buy plastic gift cards to be mailed to you on PayPal Gifts. You must be logged in for the option to pay with your bank account via PayPal to appear.
Raise (via mobile app only)
Raise sells discounted gift cards to over 1,000 retailers through their mobile app. You can also sell gift cards through Raise.
Download the mobile app on the App Store or Google Play and Shop Raise gift cards.
Target has a huge selection of gift cards to choose from for places like restaurants, movie theaters, bookstores, and airlines. You can also purchase prepaid Visa or Mastercard gift cards on Target.com, but those will come with a purchase fee between $4 and $6. They also sell prepaid phone cards for several service providers.
Stores That Sell Gift Cards Online But Don’t Allow You To Pay with Your Checking Account
If you aren’t restricted to using only your checking account to pay, there are other places you can shop online for gift cards. The following websites will allow you to buy gift cards using a debit or credit card, but they won’t let you make purchases with your checking account routing and account numbers or with PayPal.
- Cardpool: Accepts credit and debit cards
- Gift Card Lab: Accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express debit and credit cards
- Giftcards.com: Accepts credit and debit cards
- CardCookie: Accepts credit and debit cards
- Gift Card Mall: Accepts Visa, Mastercard, and American Express debit and credit cards
- American Express: Accepts credit and debit cards
- Raise (website): Accepts credit cards and debit cards
Buying Gift Cards with Personal Checks
If you want to buy a gift card with a personal, paper check at a brick-and-mortar store, there are a few things you should know. Generally, you will need to provide a valid photo ID and the check will need to clear before you can use the gift card. (Most stores will cash the check and debit your account immediately, so this should not be a problem.) Individual stores may have different policies, so it may be worth contacting the store you plan to visit and find out its policy before trying to buy a gift card with a paper check. The following major retailers will allow you to purchase gift cards with personal checks:
- Big Lots
- Giant Eagle
Amazon, Card Cash, and PayPal allow you to buy gift cards online with your checking account number. You can also link your checking account to your PayPal account and shop for gift cards through sites like Giftcard Zen, eBay, eGifter, Gyft, Raise (using their mobile app), and more. If you need to purchase a gift card in-store with a check, you should be able to do so with a photo ID.
Suggested article if you’re nervous about security: What could someone do with my checking account number if they knew what it was? Answered