Everything you ever wanted to know about Buying Gift Cards at Best Buy

Updated 5/29/18

Introduction

There are many reasons why we’d be interested in purchasing gift cards at Best Buy:

  1. We regularly see Amex Offers of $25 off $250 at Best Buy – a 10% discount. This may be a good deal on actual Best Buy purchases, but it’s definitely a good deal on gift card purchases. Gift cards do trigger the Amex credit, which can give a 10% discount on much more than the purchase of an electronic device. We saw this offer during the holiday season 2013, we saw it once in the middle of 2014, and we see it now in holiday season 2014.
  2. Best Buy is sometimes a bonus category on the quarterly rotating category cards, especially the Citi Dividend which always seems to have Best Buy in their Q4 category. Purchasing gift cards is a way to leverage those rewards.
  3. US Bank Cash+ has electronic stores as one of its 5% category. This could be used at Best Buy for up to $2,000-per-quarter/$8,000-per-year of 5% spend.
  4. Best Buy credit cardholders receive 5-6% back in Best Buy Rewards for Best Buy purchases. We’ll discuss how that applies to gift card purchases. Additionally, in the past, Best Buy  has released offers of 10% Rewards for Best Buy credit cardholders for certain periods of time.
  5. You might have a Best Buy gift card, promo card, or Best Buy Rewards accrued. Buying gift cards might be a way of using them up.

Gift Cards they Carry

Q: Which gift cards are sold by Best Buy?

A:

  • Visa variable load $20-$200 with a $5.95 activation fee.
  • Gas – Shell and Exxon/Mobile in $25 and $50 denominations.
  • eBay – Sometime in 2015 they started carrying eBay gift cards.
  • Restaurants – Lots of restaurant gift cards available. Some options are: Chili’s, Buffalo Wings, Olive Garden, IHOP, Cracker Barrel, Darden, TGI Friday.
  • Southwest Airlines, Disney
  • Electronic Related – Skype, Google Play, XBox, Sony, Valve, iTunes, Nintendo, Netflix, and more.
  • Phone refills from: Verizon, T-Mobile, Virgin Mobile, AT&T, Boost Mobile and Metro PCS.
  • Best Buy gift cards, obviously.
  • More brands too.

Q: You say Best Buy sells gas and restaurant gift cards, but others only mention Visa, Amazon and iTunes gift cards?

A: They used to just have the Visa, Amazon, and electronic-related gift cards, but in 2014-2015 they added many more options like gas and restaurants.

Q: People mention buying Amazon Kindle gift cards, but I can’t seem to find them?

A: They don’t carry these anymore. I’ve removed them from the list (above).

Q: Do they sell any gift cards online?

A: Yes. For all online questions, see below: Bestbuy.com Online.

Q: I can’t seem to find Visa gift cards?

A: There have been times that people were saying they’ve been removed. There are also specific stores who decide to remove them. Recently (12/26/17), lots of people have been seeing them again.

Q: Cashier is having trouble checking out the Visa gift card?

A: The trick is that they have to choose the ‘Open Loop Gift Card’ option. Lots of times they choose the regular gift card option and it doesn’t work.

Split Tender

Q: Can I split my purchase and put $250 (or whatever amount) on each card?

A: Yes. Max 10 cards per transaction.

Q: If I pay with a gift/prepaid card such as Bluebird/Serve, do I need to tell the cashier to do split-tender?

A: No, the Best Buy POS will automatically drain the balance from a gift/prepaid card.

For example, if you want to spend $250 on your Bluebird/Serve, you can make sure that there’s exactly $250 on it, and just swipe your card without telling the cashier a thing. The POS will drain the $250 and let you pay the balance with another card.

Q: I tried splitting between a few credit cards, and something errored out and froze the transaction. What’s going on?

A: Since mid-2016, perhaps, there’s a glitch that hits some people when trying to split tender. The bug seems to be related to chip cards, but it’s not clear when it hits and why it effects some and not others. Just be assured that the system will automatically refund any cancelled transactions.

Buy Gift Card with Gift Card

Q: Can I use a Best Buy gift card to purchase a different gift card?

A: It’s not working for a lot of people anymore. There may still be some gift cards that work.

Q: Can I buy a Visa gift card with a Best Buy gift card?

A: Nope (1, 2, 3, 4). They’ve even updated their T&C to exclude it.

Q: How many Best Buy gift cards can be used in one transaction?

A: For an online order the max is 10. In-store, the max is 15 per transaction. You need the gift card bar code for in-store use.

Bestbuy.com Online

Q: Do they sell any gift cards online?

A: They sell quite a number of gift card brands online, though not as many as in-store. Online options include gaseBaySouthwestDisney,. dining, music, gaming, movies, and phone refills. View the whole list here. And, of course, Best Buy gift cards.

Q: Will I get the Amex Offer credit with an online purchase of a gift card?

A: Yes. Both Best Buy gift cards and third party gift cards have triggered the Amex credits in the past.

Q: What about a Best Buy e-gift card? Will that trigger the Amex credit?

A: No. Best Buy e-gift cards are issued by Cashstar and won’t trigger the Amex credit.

Q: Will an online gift card order trigger the 5% Citi Dividend cash-back?

A: Yes (personal experience). Again, only the physical gift cards, not the Best Buy e-gift cards.

Q: Will online gift card purchases trigger the US Bank Cash+ 5% cash-back?

A: They explicitly include bestbuy.com in the category. Any physical gift card should work for the 5%.

Q: I’m looking for the $250 denomination of the Best Buy gift card at bestbuy.com, but it’s not there?

A: If you poke around enough it’s usually possible to find a $250 denomination card. Here’s a current link (12/26/17).

Q: I made a few orders on Bestbuy.com, each order was a $250. Now, they started canceling my orders. “We were unable to verify your information.” What gives?

A: I’ve run into problems like this a few times with bestbuy.com. They seem to have a overactive fraud-detection system in place. You can definitely go ahead with lots of orders, and hopefully they’ll all go through, but don’t be surprised if they don’t.

Q: How many Best Buy gift cards can be used in one online transaction?

A: For online orders the max is 10.

Q: Can e-gift cards be used in-store?

A: Yes, you can pull it up on your phone or print it out to use it in-store.

Q: Will I earn portal points/cash-back when purchasing a physical Best Buy gift card from bestbuy.com?

A: Nope.

Q: What about buying third-party gift cards on bestbuy.com? Will they earn portal rewards?

A: Probably. I’ve seen more than one report that this will work (1, 2), but it might vary by the portal and the gift card.

Best Buy Rewards

READ: Best Buy Rewards Program and Credit Card Review, 5-6% Back on Best Buy Purchases

Q: What are Best Buy Rewards?

A: It’s the Best Buy store rewards program which gives 1-2.5% back which can be redeemed by purchasing items in Best Buy and applying a reward certificate to the purchase. More details in this dedicated post.

Q: Do you earn Best Buy Rewards on gift card purchases?

A: Yes, even Best Buy gift cards [maybe even Visa gift cards – it used to work, but I don’t have any recent data points]. You can even earn Best Buy Rewards when purchasing a Best Buy e-gift from Cashstar if you input your Rewards number there.

Q: Do you earn Best Buy Rewards when you purchase something and pay with a Best Buy gift card?

A: No. Rewards are earned for purchasing gift cards, but not when using Best Buy gift cards.

Q: Can you use a Best Buy Rewards certificate to buy a gift card?

A: Rewards can not be used to purchase a Best Buy gift card, nor to purchase a Visa gift card. This is in the T&C, and it’s hard-coded (I tried). However, Rewards can be used to purchase a third-party gift card, including gas or restaurant gift cards. For example, if you have a $25 Reward certificate, you can purchase a $25 Shell or Exxon gift card with it. This makes Best Buy Rewards very valuable, since you’re not limited to buying products in Best Buy. You can instead redeem them for lots of great gift cards.

Q: Any other rewards I can earn at Best Buy?

A: Yes, aside from Best Buy Rewards, you can earn Shopkick points for all your purchases at Best Buy, including gift card purchases. You’ll earn the equivalent of a $5+ gift card for $250 in spend, up to twice per week. Above $250, you’ll only earn slightly more per dollar spent. Remember to have the cashier scan the Shopkick bar codes at the time of purchase.

Best Buy Credit Card

The Best Buy credit card earns 5-6% in Best Buy Rewards. The first 1-2.5% is what’s earned without the Best Buy credit card, and an additional 2-5% is earned with the Best Buy credit card.

Q: Does it earn 5-6% on the purchase of gift cards?

A: Not on Visa or Best Buy gift cards. They’re coded to earn a straight 2%. However, in my experience, third-party gift cards do earn the 5-6% in Rewards.

Q: Does that mean I can get 5-6% off all gas and restaurant purchases?

A: Yes, you can buy gift cards at Best Buy with your Best Buy credit card, and get 5-6% back in Rewards. After you accumulate enough Rewards, you can then use those Rewards  to buy more gift cards. This also means, that when Best Buy has an occasional promotion of bonus Rewards, as much as 10%, you can get gift cards at a 10% discount.

Did we miss something? Please let us know in the comments.

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Austin

I spotted Amazon gift cards at Best Buy this week (September 2018). They had $100 and variable load up to $200. These were normal Amazon cards, not even the Kindle branded ones.

Mike
Mike

Tell me when is the last time Best Buy had a 10% promotion to use their VISA?

Iz
Iz

Thanks for the updated post!
In store, the max # of GCs that work in one transaction is 15.
Also, in store, you need the bar code on the GC; a GC # will not (usually?) work.

Amelia
Amelia

I just tried purchasing an old navy gift card and a Hulu gift card online and it wouldn’t let me pay with my best buy gift card.

ppd
ppd

And does BB count as Office Supplies store and earn 5% or 3% at Chase Ink, Amex Simply Cash Biz, and BOA Biz Cash Rewards? I see the post mention Citi Dividend and US Bank Cash+.

ppd
ppd

Is it still possible to combine multiple Best Buy GCs into one in-store? I’m getting many conflicting reports on google. Online, it seems it’s not possible to pay for a BB GC with any BB GC (credit/debit/paypal only), though it seemed possible a few years ago according to a reddit screenshot.

Has anyone gotten BB brick-n-mortar store to allow BB GC as payment for the VISA GC activation feeds? An ideal scenario would be $300 Amex CC #1, $300 Amex CC #2, $13.90 BB GC(s).

Jack
Jack

They stopped visa GCs now it seems as per the staff…any one still finding those in local BB store?

Kien
Kien

I just purchased 3 $200 VGC at bestbuy in Oregon. Paid $5.95 fees x 3 and used two of my Amex $30 back on $300 offers and will get back $60. Tried to used a BB Gift card to make the purchase, but the register would not accept that payment method so it seems like it is hard coded in the register not to allow VGC purchase with a BB gift card.

Mimi
Mimi

I noticed that, too but there are still stores that have the VGCs in a separate rack under PREPAIDS so check out the next store if they have this rack.

I’ll use Citi Dividend for BBY purchases starting next month.

savemesf
savemesf

I have seen UBER gcs recently

Vada
Vada

I have seen a lot of information about using Best Buy gift cards to purchase other gift cards/Visa gift cards, but nothing about using Best Buy credit cards to purchase Visa prepaid cards. Is that an issue at all, or should I have no problem using my credit card for a prepaid visa?

Jedi
Jedi

Chuck or anyone else,

What is the current earnings rate on Best Buy Rewards for Visa Gift Cards? This article says 1% as of Aug 2016.

I noticed in my rewards history that I was earning Best Buy Rewards, but then around October I had two transaction that 0 was earned.

With the current Amex offer of 2X points plus potential rewards, thought it might be worth a little MS when in the area. But are any rewards earned now? Thoughts?

josh
josh

I earned at 1.25x (2.5% cash value ) in December of 2016 for Visa GCs as an Elite Plus. I haven’t tried recently though. I am curious if this if this is the earning rate on BestBuy GCs as well.

Visa GC purchases also extended my Elite Plus for another year.