The Complete Guide to Using Prepaid Cards on Grubhub (Yes, You Can Use a Visa Gift Card!)

As a savvy consumer and ecommerce expert, I know that payment options matter when it comes to shopping online – and that includes ordering food delivery. Apps like Grubhub have become a go-to for many of us looking for a quick, convenient meal. But how exactly do you pay for your Grubhub order? Specifically, can you use a prepaid card or gift card to cover your food and delivery costs?

I dove deep into the world of Grubhub payments to get you the definitive answers. In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll cover everything you need to know about using prepaid cards, gift cards, and specifically Visa gift cards on Grubhub. No more guesswork or confusion – just straightforward info from an industry pro. Let‘s get into it!

Prepaid Cards and Gift Cards: The Lay of the Land

First, a quick primer on prepaid cards and gift cards. Prepaid cards are loaded with a set amount of money and can be used for purchases just like a regular debit or credit card. Gift cards are a type of prepaid card, often for a specific retailer or service.

These cards have exploded in popularity. According to a recent Research and Markets report, the global prepaid card market is expected to reach $5.51 trillion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 14.9%. And a survey by the National Retail Federation found that gift cards have been the most popular holiday gift request for 14 years running.

So it‘s no surprise that many Grubhub users are interested in using prepaid cards and gift cards to cover their food delivery purchases. The good news: Grubhub does accept most major prepaid cards as payment. Per the company‘s website, the prepaid cards accepted on Grubhub are:

  • Visa prepaid cards
  • Mastercard prepaid cards
  • American Express prepaid cards
  • Discover prepaid cards

All of these work just as seamlessly as a standard credit or debit card on the Grubhub platform. Simply enter the card info when checking out and the funds will be applied to your order total.

Grubhub also offers its own branded gift cards, which can be purchased on their site in denominations from $25 to $200. These are delivered digitally to the recipient and never expire. More on those in a bit!

A Closer Look at Visa Gift Cards for Grubhub

While Grubhub accepts prepaid cards across the major networks, I want to hone in on Visa gift cards. Why? For one, Visa is far and away the largest credit card network. There were a whopping 3.8 billion Visa cards in circulation worldwide as of September 2022.

As such, Visa gift cards are extremely common and accessible. You can scoop one up at tons of grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations, and other retail locations, often right at the checkout line. They‘re a popular go-to for easy gifts and prizes.

The great thing is, you can use Visa gift cards on Grubhub just as you would any other Visa card. Just type in the gift card number, expiration date, and CVV code at checkout and you‘re good to go. No extra steps or processing required.

One key thing to note with Visa gift cards and Grubhub: the platform doesn‘t allow you to split payments across multiple cards or methods. So if you‘re trying to use a $25 Visa gift card but your order comes to $30, you can‘t put $25 on the gift card and cover the rest with another card. Your Visa gift card balance has to cover the entire order, including tax, delivery charges, and tip.

To save yourself a headache, I highly recommend checking your Visa gift card balance BEFORE attempting to use it on Grubhub. Most cards have a URL or phone number to check the balance 24/7. That way, you‘ll know exactly how much purchasing power you‘re working with.

The Perks of Using Prepaid Cards for Grubhub

At this point, you might be thinking: why would I bother using a prepaid card or gift card for Grubhub instead of my regular credit or debit card? Fair question! There are actually some compelling reasons to consider prepaid cards for your food delivery spending:

Better Budgeting

One of the biggest arguments in favor of prepaid cards is that they can help you manage your spending and stick to a budget. By loading a set amount onto a prepaid Visa gift card or Grubhub gift card, you‘re effectively creating a cap for yourself. No need to worry about the temptation of overspending or racking up an uncomfortable credit card bill.

Let‘s be honest: it‘s all too easy to get carried away with food delivery orders, especially when our favorite eats are just a few taps away. A recent LendingTree survey found that the average American spends $2,942 per year on food delivery, and a third of us are spending more on it now than before the pandemic.

Allocating a certain amount to a prepaid card each week or month for Grubhub can be a smart way to enjoy the convenience without blowing your budget. Once you‘ve used up the balance, that‘s it until you reload. It adds an extra layer of discipline and awareness to your spending.

Keeping Your Spending Organized

On a similar note, some consumers like to use prepaid cards to keep different spending categories separate for easier tracking. Rather than having Grubhub purchases lumped in with groceries, gas, etc. on your regular debit card statement, you can use a prepaid card earmarked for dining and food delivery.

This is also a great tactic if you want to keep your food spending separate from a shared bank account. By using a prepaid card for Grubhub and similar purchases, there‘s no murky gray area around which transactions were yours.

The Visa Prepaid Card Consumer Insights Survey found that 49% of prepaid card users cite better money management as a top reason for using them. It‘s all about creating distinct buckets for your spending to streamline your financial life.

Giving the Perfect Gift

Prepaid cards in general, and Grubhub gift cards specifically, are an ideal gift for the takeout lovers in your life. You‘re giving them the freedom to choose their own dining adventures while still having total control over your gifting budget.

For special occasions, holidays, or just because, you can send a digital Grubhub gift card straight to your recipient‘s email. They‘ll get to enjoy some of their favorite local eats courtesy of you, and you don‘t have to break a sweat picking out the perfect present. Win-win!

Even a simple Visa gift card can be a great option for gifting, especially for students, new grads, or anyone who could use some extra cash for necessities. They can dedicate that balance to Grubhub orders or any other essential spending as they see fit.

A Security Boost

While any reputable site should have solid online payment security, some shoppers feel an extra layer of comfort using prepaid cards vs. their primary debit or credit cards. Since prepaid cards aren‘t linked to your bank account, there‘s no direct access to your primary funds.

"Prepaid cards can offer a degree of protection against identity theft or fraudulent charges," says personal finance expert Stefanie O‘Connell Rodriguez. "Even if a prepaid card number is compromised, the criminal only has access to that loaded balance, not your entire credit line or bank account."

Of course, established sites like Grubhub have built-in safeguards against fraud no matter what payment method you use. But if the idea of an added buffer gives you peace of mind, prepaid cards deliver.

How to Use a Prepaid Card on Grubhub: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we‘ve covered why you might want to use a prepaid card on Grubhub, let‘s walk through exactly how to do it. Don‘t worry – it‘s a total breeze!

  1. Hop into the Grubhub app or head to and sign into your account.
  2. Select the restaurant you want to order from and add your desired items to your cart.
  3. When you‘re ready to checkout, click the cart icon and select "Checkout."
  4. On the checkout screen, you‘ll see your order subtotal and options to add a tip, donation, or promo code. Under the "Payment information" section, select "Add a new card."
  5. A new window will open where you can enter your prepaid card info. Type in the card number, expiration date, and CCV code just like you would a regular credit card.
  6. If you‘d like to save the prepaid card to your account for future use, check the box next to "Save card." If not, leave it unchecked.
  7. Click "Add card" to lock in your payment method.
  8. Complete the rest of the checkout process by choosing your delivery address and confirming the order details. Then sit back and wait for your food to arrive!

Here‘s a visual for that "Add a new card" screen:

Grubhub Add a New Card Screenshot

See? Nothing to it. Using a prepaid card on Grubhub is just as straightforward as any other card. And once you‘ve added your card info, it‘ll be securely saved for speedier checkout next time (if you select that option).

Potential Pitfalls of Prepaid Cards on Grubhub (And How to Avoid Them)

As great as prepaid cards can be for Grubhub purchases, there are a couple potential snags to be aware of. But fear not – they‘re easily avoidable with a little know-how.

The first one I touched on earlier: Grubhub doesn‘t allow split payments across multiple cards or methods. Your prepaid card balance needs to cover the entire order cost, period. If you try to submit an order that exceeds your prepaid balance, it‘ll be declined.

The simple fix? Check your prepaid balance BEFORE placing your Grubhub order. Most major prepaid cards have a website or phone number where you can quickly check your available funds 24/7. You can also get in the habit of keeping tabs on your spending and reloading your card when it‘s getting low.

Another issue that sometimes trips people up: many prepaid cards are not reloadable. Once you‘ve spent down the balance, that‘s all she wrote. While some prepaid cards do have a reload option, many – especially gift cards – are one and done.

If you enjoy using prepaid cards for Grubhub, one workaround is to use a prepaid card from a major issuer like Green Dot, Netspend, or Bluebird. These cards are reloadable online or at retail locations, so you can keep the same card and add funds as needed. Just be sure to read the fine print on fees – some prepaid cards charge for certain transactions.

The last potential wrinkle isn‘t exclusive to prepaid cards, but is worth mentioning. While Grubhub is great about refunding customers for missing or incorrect orders, those refunds go back to your original payment method. With a prepaid card (especially a non-reloadable one), you might have already spent down the balance by the time your refund processes.

In that case, your best bet is to contact Grubhub directly and request your refund be issued via another method like PayPal or check. Their customer service team is generally very helpful with finding a solution.

Grubhub Gift Cards: Another Easy Prepaid Option

I‘ve mentioned Grubhub‘s own branded gift cards a few times, but they‘re worth a deeper dive. Like standard prepaid cards, Grubhub gift cards let you load a set amount to spend solely in the Grubhub app or on their website. But they have some added perks that might make them your prepaid method of choice.

For starters, you can buy Grubhub gift cards right through the Grubhub app or website. No need to hunt them down at a physical store. Denominations range from $25 up to $200, so there‘s flexibility to suit any gifting budget. The company also occasionally offers bonus deals where you can get additional value for buying higher gift card amounts.

When you purchase a Grubhub gift card, it‘ll be delivered straight to the recipient via email. The message will include instructions for redeeming. And unlike some other prepaid cards or gift cards, Grubhub gift cards never ever expire. The balance is yours until you use it.

To redeem a Grubhub gift card, log into your account and head to the Payments section. Click "Add a Gift Card" and enter your unique gift card code. Voila – the balance will instantly be added to your account to apply to future orders. No physical card to keep track of.

Grubhub Redeem Gift Card

One slightly odd thing about Grubhub gift cards to keep in mind: if your order total is less than your gift card balance, there‘s no way to cash out the remainder. That unused amount will stay as an account credit until you apply it to another order. My suggestion is to treat it like a "use it or lose it" situation and try to zero out the balance with each purchase when possible.

The Bottom Line: Should You Use a Prepaid Card for Grubhub?

We‘ve covered a lot of ground! By now, you hopefully have a clear understanding of how prepaid cards and gift cards work with Grubhub, including the ins and outs of using a Visa gift card on the platform.

Ultimately, whether a prepaid card makes sense for your Grubhub orders comes down to your personal spending preferences and goals. If you like the idea of keeping a tighter leash on your delivery budget, earning some extra credit card rewards, or giving a thoughtful and useful gift, prepaid cards are worth a look.

On the flip side, if you know you‘re prone to misplacing gift cards or forgetting to check balances before placing an order, you might be better off sticking with a linked credit card or debit card. And again, just be aware that you can‘t split Grubhub payments across multiple cards.

The good news is that Grubhub makes using a prepaid card or gift card incredibly simple and seamless. No extra hoops or hassles. And most people find that the benefits – like built-in budgeting and security – outweigh the very minor limitations.

So go ahead – treat yourself or a loved one to a Grubhub gift card, or pick up a all-purpose Visa gift card the next time you‘re at the grocery store. With a little planning and balance checking, it can be a smart and rewarding way to enjoy all your food delivery faves.