With every passing month, new names are added to the list of stores that offer gift cards. So far, we have talked about Walmart gift cards, Roblox gift cards, Redbox gift cards and much more! Where majority of these companies let you buy gift cards online or in-store, queries have been piling up about where can you buy gift card at self checkout?
Is It Possible To Buy Gift Cards At Self Checkout?
Gift cards require activation at the checkout. That is why majority of the stores do not let you purchase gift cards at self checkout kiosk. Instead, cashiers help you activate the card manually at the regular register.
However, now there are some stores that let you buy gift cards at self checkout. These terminals have introduced automatic activation of the cards so you don’t have to wait for the store’s employee to help you out. Some of the places that you can check out include:
Walmart hosts self checkout lane for gift card purchases. If you are buying a gift card that requires you to specify an amount, you have to scan the card and then enter the amount before the transaction and activation can be completed.
Purchase of prepaid gift card is simpler. You just have to scan the card and pay! The check out counter will take care of the activation itself.
Another retailers where you can buy gift card and complete the purchase at self checkout kiosk is Kroger. Both types of gift cards, the ones with pre-determined amount and the other without it, are available for self checkout here.
If you are buying a gift card with pre-determined amount, the checkout will proceed smoothly and the card would be automatically activated once you complete the transaction. On the other hand, on purchase of a gift card that requires you to specify an amount, you have to enter the figure after you have scanned the card. In this case too, the activation of the card is automatic.
Target was one of the first stores to introduce self check out lanes where customers could scan and pay for their products without relying on a cashier. Consequently, it integrated gift card purchase at self check out as well.
However, it would still be preferable if you buy gift card through the cashier lane. This is because the self-checkout lane will put you on hold until a Target employee gets there to help you.
Safeway sells prepaid gift cards as well as cards that require you to specify the amount at the time of purchase. Both of these can be purchased at self checkout lanes.
You can pay for the gift cards without relying on a cashier. Moreover, the card would be activated automatically once the transaction is complete.
5. BJ’s Wholesale Club
BJ’s Wholesale Club is one of the few stores that have completely self-automated checkout lanes. If you wish to purchase a gift card here, simply scan the card at the checkout and pay using any of the accepted payment method.
You can also choose the amount that you want to load onto the card. There is no need to activate the card. It would be activated automatically once the transaction is complete.
6. The Home Depot
Home Depot majorly offers gift cards that have no set amount. Therefore, when you are at the self check out lane, it will prompt you to enter an amount you wish to transfer.
There are some prepaid gift cards here that are automatically activated once you scan and complete the payments.
You can proceed to buy gift cards at self checkout at Lowe’s. In fact, you can carry out almost all the process yourself until you get to the part where you need to finalize the transaction.
Lowe’s employee will come over to the desk and help you complete the money transfer for the purchase of the gift card.
8. WinCo Foods
So the last name on our list of self-check gift card stores in WinCo Foods. However, this is not a complete self-automated store and does require assistance from self-checkout attendant.
This means you can get gift cards at self-checkout here but there are some parts of the process in which WinCo Foods staff would help you out. These include scanning the card for the activation procedure.
What Other Stores Do Not Offer Gift Card Purchase At Self Checkout?
As you can see, there are now several stores that let you complete gift card purchases at self-checkout. However, it would not be wrong to say that not all retailers and major stores and introduced this feature yet.
These stores still demand that the cashier handles the transaction and you can also not complete the activation yourself.
Some of these stores include:
- Whole Foods
- Sam’s Club
- Food Lion
- Top Friendly Markets
Please keep in mind that store policies vary from one place to another and you must check with the customer support service to ensure that self checkout option is available at the outlet that you plan to visit.
How Do Activation Works For Gift Cards Bought At Self Checkout?
Stores had added self checkout lanes long before gift cards were made available there. That is because gift cards require activate and, in most cases, that had to be done manually.
To understand which stores now allow for gift card purchases at self checkout, it is important to check how activation works with different gift cards.
Prepaid gift cards, for example, are easiest to buy at self checkout. These carry a pre-determined amount of money and are mostly, automatically activated when you pay for them at the counter. Only in some cases do you need to call the company and request activation. Prepaid gift cards are typically issued by Visa and Mastercard.
If going for over-the-phone activation, you have to provide the activation code given at back of the card. The rest of the procedure may be explained over receipt or packaging details.
Visa and Mastercard also issues gift cards with no set amount. You can load them with balance of your choice but typically up to $500. These cards require manual activation but in some cases, you may be allowed to enter the amount yourself and complete the activation at self checkout.
The last available option is that of store gift cards. These are gift cards that can be specifically purchased at a store and may be prepaid or with no set amount.
The procedure of buying and activating these gift cards would be the same as the two methods discussed above. The difference only lies in which type of card you are getting.
How Can You Check Your Gift Card Balance After The Purchase?
Got your gift card and can’t wait to confirm that you have enough balance on it to start shopping around? It is a good practice to keep the card amount in check, however, the method to do that may vary depending on the gift card you own.
The most reliable method, and the one that always works, is to get in touch with the company’s customer support team. They would ask you to provide the security code for the card. Then you can inquire about the balance. Other than that, you can also visit your local store and check the balance at gift card kiosk.
Before You Go!
To our relief, there are many stores now with self checkout kiosk. You can find them in various grocery and retail stores. Even if the purchase of gift card is not fully automated, little help from the cashier should not take as long as standing in long queues to wait your turn.
If self checkout is not an option, there are other ways to buy gift cards that you must explore! For example, you can buy visa gift cards with Venmo now or purchase gift cards online with checking account. It is also possible to get buy now pay later gift cards so you don’t break your pocket!
Miriam Caldwell is a dedicated & expert freelance writer to educate people about personal finance management and budgeting. She shared her knowledge and published the articles at TheBalance.com, GOBankingRates, and BlissfullyDomestic.com. Many financial institutes pick Caldwell as the brilliant source for educational personal finance content.