How To Buy Gift Cards Online

Updated 2/3/2020

Looking to buy a gift card for a birthday present or thank you? When you buy a gift card online, you don’t even have to leave the couch.

You can buy a gift card online at many retailers, send one in an app, and even earn rewards for your purchase on select gift card websites.

Why shop online or on an app

The name of the game is convenience. The National Retail Federation recently published its Winter 2020 consumer view citing that 83% of consumers list convenience as an important factor in their shopping habits now versus 5 years ago.

Popular gift card options

Speaking of convenience, the most requested gift cards continue to be Amazon, Target, and Walmart. Due to their flexibility, these gift cards make a great gift for any occasion. Your recipient can get everything from furniture to groceries, personal items, clothing and more when they shop at any of these retailers.

In addition to merchants online and in-store, Visa gift cards are a useful gift option. Issued by participating banks and select gift card sites, you can buy a prepaid Visa gift card in a variety of denominations. While you will have to pay an additional activation fee upon purchasing, your recipient can use the card anywhere Visa is accepted. 

Gift card apps

You have choices when it comes to sending a gift card via a user-friendly app. Many gift card retailers allow you to choose from a variety of brands and send a gift card right in the app. Aside from quick gifting capabilities, a few of them even offer loyalty rewards for using their service. Earn points for your gift card purchase and then redeem them for a free gift card or cash back offer. Here are a handful of useful gift card apps available on iOS and Android devices.

Gift Card Granny



Gift card types

When shopping for gift cards online, most stores and gift card sites have two types of gift cards available, plastic and eGift cards. Plastic cards have been around since the mid-1990s and before the shopping online boom, they were only available in-stores.

Nowadays, you can send a plastic gift card or go green with a virtual gift card also known as an eGift. This type of gift card is sent electronically. All you need is your intended recipient’s email address and he or she can receive a gift card in a matter of minutes. Virtual gift cards are a lifesaver when it comes to last-minute gifting. 

How to buy a gift card online

1. Go to the retailer’s website

2. Click on the ‘Gift Cards’ link; this can be found in the top navigation panel or in the text links of the footer at the bottom of the page

3. Choose an eGift or plastic card

4. If applicable, pick a design and add a message to the gift card

5. Select the amount and quantity

6. Input the home or email address of the recipient

7. Checkout

In short, you can purchase a gift card online instantly when you download an app, turn on your tablet, or open your laptop. Happy shopping!