Short Answer: You can buy gift cards with your checking account at CardCash. You can also link your checking account to PayPal to buy gift cards from Raise (on mobile), eBay, Gyft, eGifter, and more. Aside from these options, you can also use personal checks to buy gift cards at a number of retailers. See below for more information on how to buy gift cards online with your checking account.
What We Recommend
The only online option that truly allows you to buy gift cards directly with your checking account information is CardCash, and it even offers gift cards at a discount. However, there is an application and approval process for CardCash ACH payments.
To avoid this process, you can instead link your checking account to your PayPal account and buy gift cards from sites like Raise, which offers discounted gift cards, Gyft, and eGifter.
Where to Buy Gift Cards Online With Your Checking Account
CardCash is the only site we found that allows you to purchase gift cards online with your checking account, and it also allows you to buy them at a discount. To pay with a checking account on CardCash, you’ll first need to create an account, and you’ll need to have made at least three transactions on the site.
Then, you can send a copy of your driver’s license, the email linked to your checking account, and a written request for ACH access to firstname.lastname@example.org. CardCash will review your application. If you are approved, you will be able to purchase gift cards directly from your checking account.
Additionally, like the sites listed below, CardCash allows you to link your PayPal account (which is connected to your checking account) to pay for gift cards.
By shopping for gift cards on CardCash.com, you can save as much as 35% off the face value of a gift card. You can also use CardCash 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 CardCash.
Want to find more stores that will let you shop online with your checking account? Check out our article about where to shop online with checking account numbers only.
Where to Buy Gift Cards Online with Your PayPal Account
Many online retailers offer the ability to pay with PayPal instead of entering checking account numbers directly on their websites because PayPal offers helpful security features like 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, ordered starting with the best overall options:
1. Raise (Mobile App Only)
- Selection: Raise sells discounted gift cards to over 1,000 retailers through its mobile app. You can also sell gift cards through Raise.
- Download the Raise mobile app (iOS or Android) to start shopping
- Selection: 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.
- Note: 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.
- Shop gift cards on eBay
- Selection: Gyft sells 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.
- Shop gift cards at Gyft
- Selection: 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.
- Shop gift cards on eGifter
- Selection: 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 they will come with a purchase fee between $4 and $6. Target also sells prepaid phone cards for several service providers.
- Shop gift cards at Target.com
6. PayPal Gifts
- Selection: 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.
- Shop gift cards at PayPal Gifts
- Selection: 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.
- Shop gift cards at Giftnix
8. Game Card Delivery
- Selection: 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.
- Shop gift cards at Game Card Delivery
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.
We contact customer service representatives from several national chains and found that the following major retailers will allow you to purchase gift cards with personal checks:
- Big Lots
- Giant Eagle
CardCash 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 Raise (using its mobile app), eBay, Gyft, eGifter, 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.
If you’re nervous about the security risk of entering your checking account information online, see our article about what someone can do with your checking account numbers.