Short Answer: It is possible to buy alcohol with a gift card at major retailers like Publix, Target, and Walmart, as long as you are of legal drinking age. You can also purchase alcoholic beverages with restaurant gift cards. For the list of places where you can buy alcohol with a gift card (and where you can’t), see below.
Can You Buy Alcohol With a Gift Card?
You can buy alcohol with a gift card at many chain retailers as long as you are at least the minimum drinking age. We contacted stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia to find out if you can purchase alcohol with a gift card.
While all of the locations we spoke with allow customers to purchase alcohol in-store with a gift card, note that states, cities, and counties are allowed to create their own rules regarding alcohol sales, so individual location policies may vary. The following retailers generally allow the purchase of alcohol (including beer, wine, and other types) with a gift card:
- ALDI (except with ALDI gift cards designated “food only”)
- BJ’s Wholesale Club
- Giant Eagle (except with Giant Eagle’s in-store return credit)
- Meijer (except with Meijer’s designated “food only” gift card)
- Trader Joe’s
- Walmart (except with Walmart’s Alcohol/Tobacco/Firearms/Lottery Prohibited gift card)
- Whole Foods
Restaurant Gift Cards
Restaurant gift cards are usually valid on all food and drink purchases, including alcoholic beverages, unless the law prohibits it. Customer service representatives at Applebee’s, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, and TGI Fridays confirm that gift cards are good for food and beverages (alcoholic or not).
Where You Can’t Buy Alcohol With a Gift Card
In the course of our research, we found that the following retailers do not allow alcohol purchases with a gift card:
- Rite Aid
- Sam’s Club
- Applebee’s customer service (888) 592-7753
- Chili’s contact form
- Olive Garden contact form
- Outback Steakhouse contact form
- Red Lobster contact form
- TGI Fridays contact form