How to Use a Visa Gift Card at McDonald's

by Chrystal Doucette ; Updated July 27, 2017

McDonald's accepts Visa gift cards as payment. The cards work similarly to credit cards. You can use Visa gift cards to buy burgers, fries, kids' meals and other food items, but you cannot use them to purchase McDonald's gift cards. Each card comes with a prepaid balance.

Step 1

Confirm your card is activated. In some cases, your card is activated automatically when it is purchased. But if the card issuer provided alternate instructions, follow these instructions to activate the card.

Step 2

Call the number on the back of your gift card to find your balance. You can also check your balance through the website of the card issuer.

Step 3

Order your food.

Step 4

Inform the McDonald's cashier if your gift-card balance is below your purchase amount. In this case, the cashier can treat your balance as partial payment.

Step 5

Select "credit" as your payment method. Swipe the gift card as you would a Visa credit card.

Step 6

Pay any remaining balance with another form of payment.

Step 7

Wait for confirmation that your payment has been accepted.


  • Visa gift cards do not require a PIN number. McDonald's does not require a signature for purchases made with a gift card.

About the Author

Chrystal Doucette was health and education reporter for "The Columbia Basin Herald," a staff reporter for the "Snohomish County Tribune" and a contributing writer for the "Everett Business Journal." She owns and operates a retail business full-time since 2010. Baldwin holds a master's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in journalism.