Can You Buy Gift Cards at Self-Checkout?

In today’s fast-paced world, gift cards have become a ubiquitous expression of our appreciation and love toward our friends and family. However, purchasing gift cards can often be time-consuming, requiring you to navigate the often chaotic store environment to locate the gift card you need and wait in line for a store employee to complete the transaction.

Fortunately, many stores across the United States have enabled their self-checkout kiosks to allow customers to purchase gift cards, making the entire process remarkably more efficient. By taking advantage of this, you can buy the gift card you want in just a few minutes rather than standing in long checkout lines and enduring tedious processes to complete the transaction.

While many merchants previously did not permit the purchase of gift cards at self-checkout kiosks, stores such as Walmart, Target, Kroger, Safeway, Albertsons, Meijer, Publix, CVS, Walgreens, Morrisons, and Rite Aid now offer customers this convenience. However, store policies can vary, so it’s crucial to double-check with your specific store to make sure this option is available.


Can You Buy Gift Cards at Self-Checkout?

Yes, many stores in the US allow you to buy gift cards at self-checkout, but it can vary by location and store policy. Here are some stores that commonly allow gift card purchases at self-checkout:

  1. Walmart
  2. Target
  3. Kroger
  4. Safeway
  5. Albertsons
  6. Meijer
  7. Publix
  8. CVS
  9. Walgreens
  10. Morrisons
  11. Rite Aid

Buy Gift Cards at Self-Checkout example

It’s important to note that some stores may restrict the types of gift cards purchased at self-checkout, such as limiting purchases to store-specific gift cards or requiring that certain gift cards be purchased from a cashier. Additionally, some stores may restrict the number of gift cards purchased per transaction or daily.

How to buy gift cards at self-checkout?

To buy gift cards at self-checkout, follow these steps:

  1. First, locate the gift card section: Look for the gift card section near the self-checkout area. The gift card section may be near the registers or in a separate store area.
  2. Choose the gift card: From the available options, select the gift card you want to purchase. Many stores have a wide selection of gift cards, including those for popular retailers, restaurants, and online retailers.
  3. Scan the gift card: If the self-checkout kiosk has a barcode scanner, scan the barcode on the gift card. If not, you may need to enter the gift card number manually.
  4. Pay for the gift card: Follow the prompts on the self-checkout screen to pay for the gift card. You can typically pay with cash, a credit or debit card, or a store gift card.
  5. Take the gift card: Once you have paid for the gift card, the kiosk will print a receipt and dispense it. Be sure to take the gift card and the receipt with you.

It’s important to note that some stores may restrict the types of gift cards that can be purchased at self-checkout or may require that certain gift cards be purchased from a cashier. Additionally, some stores may limit the number of cards used in a single transaction or per day. If you have any questions or are unsure about the store’s policy, it’s always best to check with a store associate.


Suppose you are unsure whether a particular store allows gift card purchases at self-checkout or has any restrictions. In that case, it’s always best to check with a store associate or consult the store’s policy on its website or app.

Moreover, not all gift cards are available for purchase at self-checkout counters. Certain retailers may only permit in-person purchases due to internal policies or the risk of fraud. Examples of such stores include Apple, Amazon, and Visa. However, most stores typically allow customers to purchase cards for use within the retailer itself, such as gift cards for Starbucks, Walmart, or GameStop, within the self-checkout kiosk.

While purchasing gift cards at self-checkout can offer greater convenience, they also come with additional considerations. For instance, customers must exercise caution to avoid being inadvertently charged for items they didn’t mean to purchase or being scanned at the wrong denominations. You can often remedy these situations through the self-checkout kiosk error system or by getting assistance from a staff member.

Additionally, be mindful that self-checkout may not be the best option for those paying with cash, as gift cards are often purchased with a credit or debit card. As a result, those who require cash transactions may still need to visit the customer service desk or traditional checkout line.

In conclusion, purchasing gift cards at self-checkout is a significant advancement in gift-giving, making it faster and more efficient. However, it’s crucial to remember that not all stores may have this option available, and it’s wise to double-check your store’s policy before heading to the self-checkout kiosk. Nevertheless, with extra caution, utilizing self-checkout kiosks can be a time-saving and convenient solution for purchasing gift cards.

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith

Daniel Smith is an experienced economist and financial analyst from Utah. He has been in finance for nearly two decades, having worked as a senior analyst for Wells Fargo Bank for 19 years. After leaving Wells Fargo Bank in 2014, Daniel began a career as a finance consultant, advising companies and individuals on economic policy, labor relations, and financial management. At, Daniel writes about personal finance topics, value estimation, budgeting strategies, retirement planning, and portfolio diversification. Read more on Daniel Smith's biography page. Contact Daniel:

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