Can You Use a Visa Gift Card With PayPal?

PayPal is one of the most popular and convenient online payment platforms. Users can register and create a wallet from which they can carry out transactions, but some want to know – can you use a Visa gift card with PayPal? Here’s a short article to explain prepaid cards and the payment process.

Yes, you can use a Visa gift card with PayPal. This platform accepts all prepaid cards issued by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. What it doesn’t take are merchant-specific prepaid cards that don’t have one of four issuers attached to them. These can be added to a user’s wallet on the app and used for transactions just like any other.

A close-up of a phone screen and the PayPal app

Can You Use a Visa Gift Card With PayPal?

PayPal’s website confirms that users can add prepaid cards to their accounts and make payments. However, they must be by one of the four card-issuing companies:

  • Visa,
  • MasterCard,
  • American Express,
  • Discover.

It’s impossible to link cards from merchants or those that are merchant-specific. For example, you can’t take credits from your CVS bonus card and transfer that money to the app. Those must be spent in person.

These cards can’t be used for recurring payments and reference transactions because they can quickly run out of funds, and the app would stop providing its services in that case.

Are Visa Gift Cards That PayPal Accepts the Same as a Credit Card?

In general, these gift cards are not the same as credit. The latter is typically connected to a user’s credit score and borrowing limit, while the former is not. These cards are more like a lump sum you’re gifted for spending in certain places.

Remember that some of these cards have expiration dates, fees, or other restrictions, so check the terms and conditions before using yours.

Ultimately, whether or not you can utilize your gift card like a credit card depends on the specific one in question, so be sure to do your research beforehand.

A close-up of an Amex card

The Difference Between Gift and Debit Cards

For the platform, the difference is minimal, and you can pay however you like. But you may want to be sure before deciding if adding a prepaid card to your wallet is the best option. We think there’s no error in adding one, but it’s your choice.

Here’s a quick rundown of the difference between gift and debit cards.

Visa GiftVisa Debit
Not linked to your bank account (you can connect it to PayPal, though)Linked directly to your bank account
Must add money in advance before usingNot necessary to add money in advance
Doesn’t have sensitive information on itHas sensitive information attached to it
One person can request it and give to another as a presentMust be submitted and issued for the same person
You can’t lose more than what’s already on itCan sometimes have overdraft fees
Can be loaded with funds between $10 and $1,000Unlimited amount of cash load (or as determined by your contract)
No annual feeHas a yearly and sometimes monthly fee

How to Use Prepaid Cards to Spend Money on the App

When it comes to using these cards on the app, you’ve learned that you can’t utilize just any; it has to be from one of four specific issuers. However, you also may not always have the option to take out the card’s total value; the app has fees that apply to any balance.

The app typically charges a transfer fee, generally around 3% upon payment. So, if you’re trying to pay with a $50 gift card, you might only be able to get $47,50 of it. It’s also important to note that you can’t tap into your balance immediately with this type of card.

In some cases, the platform may place a hold on the funds from it until the transfer is complete. This typically happens when you’re using credit or debit for the first time or a card that hasn’t been used in a while.

Otherwise, you can utilize these cards to pay for anything and everything you want; there’s not much of a limit on it, and there’s no difference between transactions and cards you’ve linked to the platform.

An unknown woman entering her card info into an app on her phone

How to Add This Card to Your Account Wallet

If you want this kind of card on the app, it’d be wise to connect it to your account; luckily, that’s done through a straightforward step. The easiest way to do this is to go to the “Wallet” section and click on the “Link a card” option. Enter the number on the front of your card and other digits, if necessary.

Once you’ve linked it, you’ll be able to utilize it for all future transactions on the platform until the balance runs out.

It’s Possible to Pay Even if You Don’t Have an Account

PayPal’s website claims that you don’t have to add these to your account to make transactions with them. All you have to do is enter the necessary information during checkout, as with any other transaction, and enter the required amount to pay.

A person off-screen entering their card information online

You Can Pay With All Kinds of Cards on the App

This gift card is perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re looking for a birthday present or something to show appreciation for someone, this type of present is always appreciated.

With no annual fee and free online account access, it’s easy to manage, and it’s even better because you can link it to PayPal and utilize it whenever you want. The app allows users to connect cards and send and receive money almost anywhere, so this combination is excellent.