What Is a PayPal Gift Card and How Do You Use It?

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Gift cards exist in physical and digital form — but both versions work in a similar way, by allowing one person to give another a stash of cash to use at a given store or franchise.

You typically have a few choices about how to redeem a gift card. You can use it to pay for a transaction in-store, apply it to your online shopping cart or, in some cases, you can opt to store the gift card balance in your PayPal account. That last option is available with PayPal Gift Cards — or digital gift cards that are stored in your PayPal account online.

PayPal will also take your existing gift cards — if you don’t feel you’ll end up using them — and convert them into cash stored in your PayPal account.

Can You Get a PayPal Gift Card?

It’s easy to get a PayPal gift card — as long as your intended recipient has a valid email address, you can send them a gift card digitally via text message or email. You could also choose to print the gift card and hand it to them personally or send it via the postal service.

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Where Can I Get a PayPal Gift Card?

You can visit PayPal’s gift card store online to make a selection.

PayPal offers plenty of options to find the right gift card. You can browse what’s available or search for a specific brand, by occasion or by type of gift card, like beauty or dining.

Are Deals Available on PayPal Gift Cards?

You can find select gift cards available at discounted prices on the “Deals” tab of the PayPal Gifts page.

Does a PayPal Gift Card Ever Expire?

No — a PayPal gift card is always available for use and does not have an expiration date. This is a major advantage of these cards, since expiration dates are a frequent point of frustration for users of physical gift cards.

How Do You Redeem a PayPal Gift Card?

Once a PayPal gift card has been issued, it will have a 16-digit code. If your gift card is in printed form, you’ll want to register it to your PayPal account online. To do that, just follow these steps:

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Registering Your PayPal Gift Card

  1. Go to PayPal’s gift card page and log in.
  2. Select “Use Gift Card.”
  3. Enter the 16-digit code from your gift card.
  4. The gift card balance should be added to your PayPal account right away — often instantly.

Once you’ve added the gift card to your PayPal account, it’s as simple as selecting the gift card balance as your payment method when you checkout.

What Can You Use a PayPal Gift Card For?

Once you’ve registered your gift card and it’s reflected in your PayPal account, you can use it to make purchases at brick-and-mortar stores or online retailers that accept PayPal.

You can use PayPal gift cards at dozens of retailers and stores, including Apple, Chewy, DoorDash, Instacart, Roblox, Target and Walmart — just to name a few.

What Can’t You Do With a PayPal Gift Card?

While PayPal gift cards make for convenient gifts — or can help you stick to your budget — they do have their limitations.

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You can’t transfer the balance from a PayPal gift card to another person, you can’t withdraw its balance directly from your PayPal account and you can’t give the PayPal gift card in physical form — like the type of hard plastic gift card that you would buy in a store.

A Flexible, Expedient Gift Card

The PayPal gift card offers both you and your intended recipient a lot of flexibility. As the buyer, you have multiple choices about how to buy and deliver the gift card quickly and easily, without even needing to leave your home. The recipient, for their part, has flexibility about how to redeem it — whether they want to spend it right away or let the money sit securely in their PayPal account to wait for the perfect purchase.

Although physical gift cards are still a preference for many, the reality is that they can disappear into a person’s wallet, purse or car and never get used. With a PayPal gift card, you can rest assured that it will be easier for your recipient to track, store and benefit from your gift. On top of all of this, without an expiration date to worry about, it’s a stress-free experience for both buyer and seller.