Bitcoins were created to make our lives easier. They are touted to be the next big revolution in the world, and as of now, they are certainly performing as per expectations. After initially failing to live up to all the hype, the Bitcoins made a triumphant return in 2014. After that they were unstoppable. They knocked down records left, right and center and soon, they effectively became the one currency everyone wanted to invest in. The investment sector boomed like anything post the crazy popularity hike of the Bitcoin, and the financial sector went through some major changes. Several leading corporations and their leaders went on record saying that the Bitcoin was going to play a huge role in the future and that sooner or later, it would be the one central currency of the world. These were big words coming from big men. But since they were in context of the Bitcoin, nobody questioned them.
The unprecedented popularity of the Bitcoin continues to this day and is in fact responsible for the big push currently experienced by the cryptocurrency industry. Cryptocurrencies aren’t new, in fact they have been around for quite some time now. However, only recently have they received the kind of fame they deserve, and they owe it all to the Bitcoin.
But for something that was explicitly created to make our lives easier, it sure can get pretty tricky to purchase Bitcoins. Sure, they are everywhere and we literally have hundreds of channels through which we can effectively shop for Bitcoins, and yet the overall procedure and the best fit of the lot still isn’t something that most people are clear on. It is a clear need of the moment to get a clearer picture on what happens to be the best medium to buy Bitcoins, one that is easy and convenient and at the same time, doesn’t charge much.
Here in this article, we aim to explore one of the lesser known methods of buying Bitcoins, that is, through gift cards. We first give you a little introduction on the matter, then go on to explain why buying Bitcoins with gift cards is great. Subsequently, we list the procedure you can use to buy Bitcoins using your gift cards, and finally list out the various services or platforms which will allow you to do that, along with the respective pros and cons for each. There is actually a lot to cover, so let us simply dive in.
Bitcoin Gift Cards
Bitcoin gift card is sort of a blanket term. It covers exchanging your gift cards for Bitcoins, and vice versa as well. In this article, we will focus only on the former that is, exchanging gift cards for Bitcoins. However, just so you know, it is, in fact, possible for you to buy your favorite gift card, be it for Amazon or Coffee Shop, by exchanging them for Bitcoins. That’s right, you can buy Bitcoin with Amazon gift card.
Bitcoin gift card can actually prove to be the ultimate solution for a lot of worried users. For anyone who is finding buying Bitcoins from these exchanges a hassle, can always opt for this neat little method and have instant access to Bitcoins. The constant influx of regulations by the United States government, coupled with the lack of feasible and convenient international buying options have only worsened the situation. But with the gift card method, you simply bypass all these restrictions and get direct access to your coins. And all you have to lose is a few of your gift cards. You can, for example, buy Bitcoin with Walmart gift card. The great part is that gift cards from almost all retailers work for the exchange. It doesn’t matter whether they are from Amazon, eBay or Bread Panera, anything will work. In fact, even Master Card or Visa gift cards will work just as well and allow you to easily buy Bitcoins.
If you are going to buy Bitcoin using Visa gift card, or any other gift card you desire, the first step, pretty obviously, is to first obtain these gift cards. You can buy them any of the many retailers that sell them. To initiate a transaction, in most cases, the first thing a seller asks for is an image of the back of the card which clearly lists the actual gift card code. They will also be requiring the receipt of the gift card which you must have received at the time of the purchase. Interestingly, some sellers may even accept e-codes or simply voucher codes that you get online, so you can possibly use them too.
Now we will talk about the exchange services or platforms which will actually allow you to make such a transaction. For your convenience, we went ahead and scanned the internet for cryptocurrency platforms and exchange services, and started focusing on those which allowed for gift card exchange for Bitcoins.
Now while there aren’t a lot of such services, we did manage to come up with two of such platforms, which not just meet our requirements, but are also convenient and user-friendly at the same time. There were LocalBitcoins and Paxful. So the next step in this procedure is to obviously create an account on either of these websites. Be sure to read up a little on both of these, so you may choose for yourself the one that suits you best. Now the registration process in itself on both of these websites is pretty simple and takes up very little of your time.
Now for you to start the trade, you need to conduct a search on the website you have chosen for sellers that actually accept gift cards. Once you do that, you will be shown a list of sellers, and you have to choose one from among them. Be sure to read up on their trade offered, and the price they are willing to take so that you may make an informed decision on the best seller for your needs.
Once you have found your perfect seller, you need to click to start a trade. As soon as you do that, the Bitcoins from the seller’s account will immediately be debited and placed into escrow. That way, you will know that it is safe to give your gift card information to the seller. Similarly, in case you have in possession an e-code for a gift card, all you have to do is look for a seller who accepts such an e-code, and then follow all the above instructions to make your payment.
Now what is left is for you to conduct the transaction. As soon as the seller receives the gift card information and checks for its validity, they will immediately release the coins from the escrow. Once they do, the coins will be credited to your personal account. They will available either in your wallet if you chose to link one, or whatever website you had chosen to carry out the transaction on.
And that is it, you are all done and you now have access to your own Bitcoins, all in exchange for a gift card. The one thing you should ideally do before you exit is to leave some kind of feedback on the seller on the website so that future buyers may benefit from your experience, irrespective of whether it has been a positive or a negative one. You can then finally visit your wallet in order to check your new balance of Bitcoins which will certainly be updated after your latest transaction.
The method has time and again proven to be simple as well as quick, and the best part is it doesn’t require the buyer to dish out any personal information to strangers on the internet such as your debit or credit card details. And even better is the fact that the complete transaction was completed in less than a day and did not take up a couple days or so as is usually the case with some credit card transactions.
Safety is Important
Remember that while LocalBitcoins and Paxful are both widely used, well respected and trustable websites in their own right, they can’t possibly vouch for every single seller or user on their platform. There are some decisions that the buyers need to take for themselves as it is practically not possible for the website to carry out background checks on each and every seller that registers on their platform. Not every seller may be equally respectable or worthy to place your trust on, and this distinction must be made by the buyer himself. In order to keep yourself safe and potentially free from all kinds of fraud, here are a few tidbits you may follow, which could, in the long run, prove to be pretty handy in case someone tries to cheat you.
Make sure to take screenshots of your transaction and purchase process at various steps so that you have a saved record of how and when the transaction was taking place. Every detail that you submit to the website could prove to be critical and important. To keep yourself safe, keep a good record of whatever information you have submitted to the website, and make sure to protect your personal details as much as you can. Until it is absolutely necessary, do not give away your information.
Remember that the very last thing you could want is for you to simply lose your money. You do not want to buy Bitcoin with Vanilla Visa gift card, and not even get any Bitcoins in return.
Feedback ratings are critical and important. Sadly, most of us deem them unnecessary and fail to check them while initiating a transaction. Be sure to take time out to take a good look at your seller’s feedback ratings, and check out what other buyers have to say about him. If there are more negative comments than positive ones, then you know that he’s not the perfect seller for you. Another way to vouch for your seller’s credibility is by looking at his information provided on the website, and then cross-checking whether the supplied information has been verified by the website itself. If it has, chances are that the seller is genuine and honestly wants to sell Bitcoins on the platform, whereas for unverified sellers, you can never really say.
Establish a firm communication with the seller before you make the payment from your end. You don’t have to go into personal details but at least do try to maintain a professional relationship, which will make it easier for you to ask questions from your end to further clear any doubts you might have on the transaction. Be sure to ask the right questions and do so before you give out your gift card details. Unless and until you are absolutely comfortable with the seller and the trade in general, we don’t recommend proceeding ahead with the transaction.
One major flexibility that you as the buyer have your hands on is the power to cancel the transaction at any given time. If at any time during the course of the transaction you feel that you might be being cheated on, or there is a bit of a risk associated with the transaction, you can instantly cancel the transaction from your end and all processes would cease instantly.
However, there is one substantial risk associated with this alternative you must keep in mind. If you happen to cancel the transaction any time after you have given over the gift card details to the seller, then you are essentially giving him the authorization to use the gift card and taking out the funds without even giving back any Bitcoins in return. If the cancellation must happen, make sure you do it before giving away your gift card details.
Now that we have outlined the facts and processes associated with Bitcoin gift cards, and also listed out the safety measure you could potentially indulge in to make sure that a healthy transaction takes place without anyone landing in trouble or being cheated on, it is now time to list out the places that actually hand out or sell such Bitcoin gift cards so that you don’t need to waste much of your time in looking for them. Please note that these places will conveniently let you buy Bitcoin with iTunes gift card or any other gift card you possess.
We will be going over the places that sell these Bitcoin gift cards at the lowest of prices. It is, in fact, possible to buy gift cards at lower values than their actual face values, and we are going to guide you towards the places that can actually help with that.
Best Exchanges to Buy Bitcoin with Gift Cards 2018
While LocalBitcoins sports a gigantic community, it does also pose a bit of a risk for buyers as it happens to be a peer-to-peer marketplace. While the huge community is a terrific feature to go with, it does create problems of its own. With a great number of users, comes a greater risk of hidden frauds or fraudulent schemes existing for the sole purpose of duping you off your money. However, on the positive side of things, LocalBitcoins carries a feature that isn’t usually found in other exchange services, which is that it allows for both buying and selling of such gift cards.
As the name clearly suggests, eGifter is an online portal for buying gift cards for various online services and platforms. eGifter has a unique system of points which has been pretty instrumental in the growing popularity of the service. Whenever a purchase is completed on the platform, the respective buyer’s account is credited with a few points depending on the total value of the transaction. Such points are then accumulated and then subsequently used as a discount on the next purchase of the buyer.
There is no added extra fee for the purchase of Bitcoin gift cards. Another pretty intuitive and unique feature that eGifter has managed to implement and we are yet to find in any other online platform is the group gifting initiative. As per this plan, a buyer is free to create a group gifting project and all the respective members of the group then have to contribute towards meeting the actual value of the gifting card that has been chosen collectively by the group.
Additionally, eGifter allows for a variety of payment methods, catering to a wide range of audience. People can actually choose from VISA, Bitcoin, American Express, MasterCard, Paypal and Discover to complete their payment. Such a wide variety of payment methods are seldom found in a single exchange and makes for a pretty satisfying experience for the users. However, the one feature that we have truly blown away with on this platform was the fact that they actually go ahead and save your gift cards for you. This way, even if you happen to lose your gift card, or forget the code on it, you can always come back to the portal and look it up.
However, even a service of this caliber is not devoid of a few downfalls of its own. Firstly, while eGifter does sport a good variety of gift cards for your consideration, they are still lesser in number to those offered by Gyft. Secondly, one major area where eGifter seems to be lacking is that they do not have the option to sell gift cards for Bitcoins, and only the other way around.
With such a wide range of services available for buying gift cards online today, one must really feel the need for a service which doesn’t ask for any personal details or any sort of an investment before initiating a transaction. While most of the other services ask the users to register themselves on the portal for a successful transaction, YesToBitcoins makes no such demand. It allows for transactions without registrations and even offers Amazon gift cards and credit card vouchers. However, at the time of writing this article, we found that the portal currently exhibits a very selective collection of gift cards, which can be a bummer for those looking for a decent selection to choose from. Also, similar to eGifter, YesToBitcoins too does not allow for the sale of gift cards for Bitcoins currently.
CoinCards is unique in the sense that it actually offers Bitcoin gift cards especially made for Canadians, and also catering to more than a hundred Canadian retailers. That’s more than a hundred reasons for Canadian customers to rejoice. Additionally, the platform is rapidly gaining a following and popularity due to the great exchange rates they offer. However, as always, there is also some bad news to go with the good ones. For starters, CoinCards is currently available only for Canadian residents. The rest of the world might have to patiently wait for a really long time before they plan to expand their business. Secondly, just like the others, CoinCards doesn’t currently offer the sale of gift cards for Bitcoins.
Gyft happens to have the much-coveted distinction of being the platform with the widest variety of retailers available. Its unique brand of features makes it arguably the most popular option on this list to buy Bitcoin with gift card. And it is not just retailers that they have an abundance of, it’s also payment methods. Gyft currently offers, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, VISA, Bitcoin, ApplePay, Paypal and more such payment options to choose from.
Additionally, they too save your gift card on the platform itself so that you the customer never loses it even if you happen to forget the code. However, even Gyft is not devoid of certain cons. As of now, Gyft is only available for the citizens of America, which is a bummer for the rest of the world since if they need to access its services; they have to somehow change their IP address. Also, Gyft even fails to offer sale of gift cards for Bitcoins.
Paxful has the sweet feature of more than 300 payment methods to choose from, including that of loaded gift cards, making it one of the most unique platforms on this list. Also, apart from LocalBitcoins, this is the only platform which offers both buying and selling options, which is another great feature in itself. However, on the negative side of things, since Paxful happens to be a peer-to-peer marketplace, one must watch out for frauds or spammers.