Depositing at online casinos can be a real challenge for players from some markets like the United States. Many of the commonly used payment methods, including virtual wallets, online banking, and credit cards, are unavailable to them due to local regulatory restrictions. Some states have legal forms of online gambling, but playing at offshore-licensed online casinos is generally prohibited in the country.
Furthermore, the federal legislation instructs banks and payment processors operating in the US to block gambling-related transactions to such unauthorized websites. US law makes it difficult for local casino enthusiasts to deposit and withdraw from offshore casinos, severely limiting their range of banking options.
Similar restrictions can be observed in other countries, albeit to a lesser degree. The limitations have given rise to several alternative banking methods, one of which is the prepaid gift card. Gift cards are available across many US-friendly gambling sites, acting as a workaround for the banking restrictions.
|Gift Card Summary|
|Connecting Bank Card/Account to Gift Card||N/A|
|Withdraw Balance to Your Gift Card||N/A|
|Pay to Online Merchants||Free|
|Available for Deposits||Yes|
|Available for Withdrawals||N/A|
|Usual Deposit Time in Online Casinos||Instant|
|Usual Withdrawal Time in Online Casinos||N/A|
|Live Chat||Depends on issuer/retailer|
|Telephone Support||Depends on issuer/retailer|
|Email Support||Depends on issuer/retailer|
There are many different brands of gift cards, with American Express, Visa, Discover, and Mastercard being the four most popular options. Gift cards facilitate fully anonymous deposits at online casinos because of their stored monetary value. This means they are not linked to external accounts maintained by banks or other financial institutions.
If you need help using gift cards for online gambling transactions, then stick around. SuperCasinoSites will walk you through the depositing process and explain all about the pros and cons of gift cards as a casino deposit method. Our seasoned reviewers will have a closer look at the security levels, processing times, and fees associated with gift cards.
Using Gift Cards for Gambling Transactions
Gift cards are the perfect solution for players who have their payments declined due to local gambling regulations. There are two main categories of gift cards, physical and digital ones. Physical gift cards pretty much resemble regular debit and credit cards – they have a magnetic stripe at the back, along with a number at the front.
You can use them for payments at online merchants or retail shops, restaurants, and other terrestrial locations. Note that they lack Personal Identification Numbers (PINs), which makes it impossible to withdraw your gift card’s balance at an ATM. Physical gift cards have no monetary value until someone buys them.
You can purchase one at your local retailer by paying in cash or with a credit/debit card. In some cases, it is necessary to call a specific phone number to activate your card. In contrast, digital gift cards are intended for use online or via mobile devices to facilitate safer and easier payments on the go. You can load the codes of several digital cards into smartphone wallets like Apple Pay and Google Pay. You simply have to select the digital card as your chosen method of payment during checkouts on the go.
Gift Cards for Gambling Additional TipsMany gift cards come with expiry dates so you better check whether yours has one in advance. Such is usually the case with Visa and Mastercard gift cards issued in the United States. They are subject to the 2009 Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act.
Under this bill’s provisions, gift cards must have a validity of at least five years and work everywhere where the Visa and Mastercard brands are accepted. These are known as open-loop cards. Keep in mind that even if your gift card has no expiry date, you can incur fees for long periods of inactivity.
Closed-loop cards are only available for use at certain merchants. For example, if you buy a gift card from Amazon, you can use it only for Amazon purchases. Some gift cards have a fixed value, while others allow you to reload them multiple times. It is worthwhile mentioning you may have to pay fees for repeatedly reusing your prepaid gift card. It all depends on the type of card and where you purchased it.
Depositing to an online casino with a gift card is a straightforward process. The first thing you must do is register a real-money account at your chosen gambling site. Make sure it works with gift cards beforehand by checking the website’s banking section.
After you sign up, log into your casino account and load the cashier system. Browse through the list of supported deposit options, which should include gift cards. After you select the method, the cashier will prompt you to designate your desired deposit amount. There is usually a tick box you must check to indicate you want to use a prepaid or gift card.
You will find gift cards work in the same way as credit or debit cards. You have to enter the number of your gift card along with its expiry date and card verification number (CVN). The only thing left is to confirm the payment and wait for the funds to appear in your casino balance, which normally happens instantly.
|Gift Card Gambling Transactions|
|Deposit Pending Time||Instant|
|Withdrawal Pending Time||N/A|
|Additional Security||Deactivation in case of loss or theft|
Advantages and Disadvantages of Gift Cards
Gift cards offer various advantages, especially to players from the US market. They serve as a great substitute method of payment for online casino customers who prefer not to use cards linked to their bank accounts. Furthermore, some people simply have no bank accounts or cannot use credit cards due to bad credit rating.
Since most gift cards have no connection to bank accounts, the transactions are more likely to go through rather than being rejected. The higher acceptance rates make them the perfect workaround for issues related to blocked payments. Another benefit of using them has to do with anonymity. Some players are reluctant to use their debit/credit cards or bank accounts for online gambling purposes at offshore casinos.
More Advantages and Disadvantages of Gift CardsGift cards are the perfect fit for them as they do not necessarily have the user’s name printed at the front. This form of payment is also incredibly safe to use and spares you from worrying about security breaches and other cybercrimes. Such things rarely happen at reputable online casinos but even if they do, the fraudsters cannot obtain your sensitive banking information. There is no denying gift cards are much safer to use compared to standard bank cards.
Another reason why many casino players turn to gift cards has to do with bankroll management. This form of payment is a great choice for people who gamble recreationally and are afraid not to overspend. When using a gift card, especially if it is unreloadable, you can only spend the funds available on its balance. This gives you greater control over your spending, especially if you are one of those players who lack discipline.
Many online casinos support this form of payment. It is very straightforward and simple to use. It pretty much works the same way as regular debit and credit cards. You will experience no issues depositing if you have ever used a regular bank card for online purchases.
Gift cards allow for instant deposits to your real-money casino balance. The funds will appear in your account almost immediately after you confirm the transaction. Most gambling operators do not charge additional fees on deposits conducted with this method. Gift cards enable you to transact cost-efficiently, especially when compared to virtual wallets and bank transfers.
Like most payment methods, this one, too, is not without faults. The biggest drawback of using gift cards for online gambling purposes is that they do not support withdrawals as an option. You will have to look for alternative ways to cash out your gambling profits.
The most common options include wire transfers and checks, which are not the most time-efficient way to withdraw from your casino account. While this is nothing to cry about, it still creates inconvenience for some players.
With reloadable cards, you may have to pay fees upon recharging their balance. The same goes if you forget to use your card for some time, in which case it is possible to incur additional inactivity fees.
|Gift Cards Pros||Gift Cards Cons|
|Prevents overspending||Unsuitable for high rollers|
|Suitable for recreational gamblers who play for small amounts||Offers less flexibility|
|Accepted at many US-friendly online casinos||Unavailable for withdrawals|
|Ensures secure and anonymous deposits||Dormancy and inactivity fees may apply|
|Higher acceptance rates at US-facing casinos||Some gift cards are available for use in certain countries only|
Gift Card Fees for Gambling Transactions
One great thing about transacting with gift cards is that most online casinos working with them process such deposits free of charge. Of course, it all depends on the payment policies of the operator. Because of this, you should inquire beforehand whether fees are in place at your preferred gambling site. Conversion fees can also apply, particularly, if your gift card was debited in a currency different than that of your casino account.
Bear in mind that you may incur some nominal charges when purchasing your gift card. You may also have to pay some fees for retopping your balance provided that the card is reloadable. The exact charges vary based on the type of card and where you bought it from.
Gift Card Fees Additional TipsFor example, Amazon offers non-reloadable $50 Visa gift cards with a one-time purchase fee of $4.95. There are no dormancy or service charges after the purchase. In many cases, the purchase fees vary based on the card’s monetary value. The higher the value, the greater the one-off purchase fee users have to pay.
In some cases, they must pay extra to activate their gift cards. The exact amount again depends on where you purchase your card. For instance, the $50 Visa gift cards available at Target come with a one-time activation fee of $5, while those sold at Walmart cost a little under $4 to activate.
Another thing to keep in mind is that some plastic gift cards do have an expiry date. You will have to request a replacement if your card expires so that its balance can be transferred to the new card. In this vein, it is also worth mentioning inactivity might cost you extra in some instances.
Inactivity fees are usually in place when you fail to use your card for a period exceeding one year. Some providers of bank-issued cards charge $1 to $2 for each month of inactivity, while others prefer to subtract the inactivity charges cumulatively once every six months. If you purchase a plastic gift card over the internet, you will likely pay shipping fees as well.
|Gift Card Fees|
|Gambling Deposit Fee||Free|
|Gambling Withdrawal Fee||N/A|
|Bank Account Deposit Fee||N/A|
|Bank Account Withdrawal Fee||N/A|
|Credit/Debit Card Deposit Fee||N/A|
|Credit/Debit Card Withdrawal Fee||N/A|
|Maintenance Fee||Possible with some gift cards but the exact inactivity fees vary|
Processing Times with Gift Cards
One of the strong points of gift cards is that they are just as time-efficient as standard debit and credit cards. Nothing is more frustrating than experiencing delays that prevent you from playing your favorite casino games right away. Gift cards facilitate online casino deposits in real-time, meaning that you will have the funds instantly credited to your gambling balance.
As previously mentioned, gift cards are mostly suitable for small-scale players who gamble occasionally and for nominal amounts of money. This is because gift cards typically have nominal values that range from $10 to $500. Combining the balances of several gift cards is usually not an option, which renders them altogether unsuitable for high rollers and people who gamble frequently.
If you purchase a plastic gift card delivered to your address, you will generally have to wait at least a couple of business days until it arrives at your door. The real waiting begins when you want to withdraw your winnings from the casino. Gambling operators obviously cannot send your money back to the gift card you have used when depositing.
Gift Card Processing Times Additional TipsMost casinos, especially those friendly to US customers, prefer to return players’ winnings via bank wire transfers and courier checks. Saying these methods are slow would be an understatement. The casino typically requires one to three business days just to approve and process your withdrawal request.
Once the operator releases the approved withdrawal from your casino balance, you may have to wait up to ten more business days until your winnings reach you via a wire transfer. As usual, the exact processing timeframes are casino-specific and vary across gambling sites.
In some rare cases, gift-card depositors have their money sent via regular mail checks. This process is very time-consuming for international players who sometimes have to wait two to three weeks for their winnings.
|Gift Card Processing Times|
|Gambling Deposit Time||Instant|
|Gambling Withdrawal Time||N/A|
|Bank Account Deposit Time||N/A|
|Bank Account Withdrawal Time||N/A|
|Credit/Debit Card Deposit Time||N/A|
|Credit/Debit Card Withdrawal Time||N/A|
Mobile Payments with Gift Cards
Smartphone and tablet players can conveniently implement their gift cards to make casino deposits while on the move. The depositing process is basically the same as that on desktop computers. You simply open your favorite gift-card-friendly casino in your phone’s browser or via a dedicated iOS/Android app.
Then you enter your login credentials to access your gambling account and navigate to the mobile cashier. Repeat the steps we described earlier and follow the instructions to confirm the money transfer. The funds will instantly appear in your casino balance. It goes without saying you can also purchase virtual gift cards online by using your smartphone or tablet.
Another cool thing about gift cards is that players can link them to mobile wallets like Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Huawei Pay, or Apple Pay. This will enable you to store all your gift cards into a single wallet and have them with you wherever you go.
Gift Card Mobile Payments Additional TipsHere is one example of how this works with the Google Pay wallet service. You load the Google Pay app on your smartphone and tap the card icon in the upper right corner. Select the Add a Card function and then choose Gift Card from the list of available options. Then follow the on-screen instructions to add one or more gift cards to your Google Pay wallet.
There may be additional options for adding cards, depending on what device and mobile wallet you use. For example, the Huawei Pay and Google Pay wallets allow you to enter cards manually or by scanning the front side with your phone camera.
In the second case, you simply have to align the card’s barcode in your photo viewer and then snap a picture. You can even receive notifications when you are in the proximity of merchants that support such gift cards.
Bear in mind the Google Pay service has monthly restrictions on the number of cards users can add. You can add no more than ten cards in total and five cards per single merchant. Otherwise, you will have to remove some of your existing ones, with the steps being similar to those of adding cards.
In contrast, Samsung Pay enables you to store an unlimited number of gift cards in your mobile wallet. Mobile wallets make it all the more convenient for players, allowing them to store multiple gift cards in a single place.
|Gift Card Mobile Payments|
Security at Gift Card Casinos
Many players favor gift cards over other banking methods since the former are highly regarded for their security. One of the biggest advantages of this payment option is that it does not require you to put at risk any of your personal and banking information. Players who use it can maintain their privacy by conducting fully anonymous deposits.
These cards are practically untraceable since they are not associated with a bank account tied to a particular person’s name. However, anonymity and convenient use come at the expense of other potential issues. It is possible to lose your gift card or have it stolen. If this happens, you should take measures as soon as possible.
We recommend you get in touch with the issuer immediately after you notice your card is missing. You will have to provide them with the number of the card so they can deactivate it and potentially reimburse you with a new one.
Some issuers would replace stolen or lost cards only on condition they have been registered first. Taking swift action is of the utmost importance since the thieves can drain your card’s balance in no time.
|Gift Card Security|
|Passcode||Possible, if you store your gift cards in mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay|
|Fingerprint||Possible, if you store your gift cards in mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay|
|FaceID||Possible, if you store your gift cards in mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay|
|Two-Factor Authentication||Yes, same as above|
Gift Card Casino FAQ
Do all online casinos accept gift cards?
Sadly, the answer is no. As commonly used gift cards are at online merchants, not all gambling sites support them as a deposit option. This payment method is predominantly available at offshore online casinos that service players from the US market. The easiest way to determine whether you can use this method at a given online casino would be to contact its customer support. The support staff will readily provide information about availability and deposit limits.
Can I use gift cards for withdrawals from online casinos?
Unfortunately, you cannot cash out your casino winnings with a gift card. This should not disappoint you, however, as online casinos support plenty of alternative methods you can withdraw your profits with. The most common ones include bank wire transfers, electronic checks, online banking, and virtual wallets.
Can I withdraw my gift card balance from an ATM?
We are afraid this is also impossible. You can only use your gift cards to make purchases from landbased and online merchants or use them at gambling sites to play for real money. This is largely because the gift cards are not linked to bank accounts. You also need a Personal Identification Number (PIN) to withdraw from ATMs and gift cards have no such PINs.
Can my gift card expire?
As a matter of fact, it can. Most gift cards have expiry dates. Those issued in the US usually expire after at least five years under the 2009 Credit CARD Act. Another thing to keep in mind is that the issuer might charge you inactivity fees if you do not use your gift card regularly. To prevent this from happening, you can make at least one purchase or casino deposit every six months or so.
Where are gift cards available?
The short answer is everywhere. This is a global payment method you can use for purchases worldwide. Not all online casinos support it for deposits but this does not prevent players from around the world from using their gift cards for other purposes. Check out our list of gift card casinos to see where you can bank with this method.