Credit card gambling sites are simply online casinos, sportsbooks, or poker rooms that accept credits cards as a method of funding a player’s betting account. It can also be equated to using your credit card as a cash advance for betting purposes as online sportsbooks don’t offer credit like some brick and mortars.
To make things easier for you, we’ve compiled the above list of some of the best sites that provide the best credit card banking system for their players.
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Types of Cards
Most of the sites that we review accept Visa first and foremost, but Mastercard is close behind. Other more frequently offered card payments include:
The prime areas that the site services determine the cards that are accepted but, for US and UK sites, Visa and Mastercard will rank the highest.
Why Are Credit Cards So Popular for Online Betting?
There are many ways to fund betting accounts these days, as it seems like new financial services are popping up monthly, but most customers have at least one credit card.
On the merchant’s end, credit card acceptance is typically at the top of their list banking methods as these sites want to cater to as many potential bettors as possible.
Unlike the US, in locations like the United Kingdom, where online betting is legal as long as the site is licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, credit card acceptance is practically a slam dunk. Players will still come across a few banks here and there that may decline an online gambling transaction anyway, but most people shouldn’t have a problem.
Don’t Present That Card Just Anywhere
You may have your Visa in hand ready to buy some chips or spin those reels, but you don’t want to use a credit card with the first site that pulls up on your search. You’ll want to factor in reputation, fee structure, and payout processing into your decision-making process.
Credit or Cash Advance?
Using a credit card is essentially taking a cash advance from your bank or credit card provider and, even though most transactions aren’t recorded that way for everyday purchases, gambling may trigger an additional cash advance fee.
It’s entirely up to the issuer of the card, but they can code your transaction as a cash advance and tack on those higher interest rates that accompany that additional service. It can get pricey for players who use a site that charges for the transaction and then have their bank apply cash advance fees as well, so credit card use may be the easiest, but it’s certainly not the cheapest.
Putting aside the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) that banks charge monthly for any carryover of a balance, the casino, sportsbook, or poker room may also tack on some costs of their own.
This is a more common practice with sites that allow for players from the United States. You’ll find that the UK or European servicing websites that prohibit US registration are much more generous in their banking policies and are typically fee-free.
The mention of any charges being assessed for credit card use may bring to mind withdrawal fees but, believe it or not; some sites charge players to transfer into their betting account as well. One well-known sportsbook charges 5.9% just to make a deposit using Visa or Mastercard, and then there are other costs added to the reverse transactions as well.
One other thing to take into consideration is the way you’re initiating your deposit. A fee-free designation or the posted rates, if there are any, apply to transactions made using the automated system hosted within the website. This is the most straightforward method as players can input their card information, the amount they want to transfer, and then the bank makes its approval decision, all within seconds.
If on the other hand, you go to the customer service department and make a charge by phone request, you could be looking at extra fees. It’s not uncommon, even for a betting sites that offers free banking, to charge something for payments by phone.
There’s one other fee that could be assessed depending on your location and that of your chosen gambling site, and that’s the international service fee. In some cases, you could be charged a percentage of your deposit and/or withdrawal for currency exchange.
Turnaround Time for Credit Card Transactions
One of the benefits of using a credit card to transfer money to a gambling site is the speed of the transaction, at least for deposits. Payments made using the automated system are approved (or denied) in a matter of seconds, and that money is then immediately made available for betting use.
Payouts, on the other hand, are an entirely different story. We’ll get more in depth with withdrawals in a moment but, but credit card payouts are not always an option.
The websites that do allow for those reverse transactions still take much longer than instant deposits that are just so appealing.
Cashing out any winnings first has an internal approval process by the sports betting cashier attached to make sure that any bonus wagering requirements have been met and that the payout is in line with its policies.
Then, there could be another waiting period as the payment request is sent to the credit card provider for processing. Some websites will promote fast turnarounds within a few days, but some have as high as a 7-10 business day window before you’ll have cash in hand or, more accurately, “cash on card.”
Non-Credit Card Payouts
Sports betting sites require their customers to use the same method for both deposits and withdrawals but, in the case of credit card users, that’s not always an option. If we had to estimate, we’d say that only about 40% of sites will offer credit card payouts and they’re usually not the ones that allow US players to join.
If your chosen gambling provider doesn’t allow for credit card payouts, the default method is generally a check or some bank or wire transfer which, in both cases, will hold up your payment anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, so know these requirements before depositing with a credit card.
The 7995 – AKA the Challenge For US Players
The legality of online gambling for US players has never been well defined, so that everyone would be on the same page. But, the one highly referenced act, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 is the one that sent US-based online gambling providers packing.
Although they moved their physical operations, where does that leave players?
Well, the act doesn’t state that online gambling is illegal. What it addresses is the payment processing for internet betting, directly targeting banks and the operators but not the customers who use the services.
Credit card companies use a coding system involving a list of merchant codes that, in the most general terms, defines the purchase being made. For example, if you paid for a meal in a restaurant, it would fall under the “dining” code.
When there was nothing on the books officially allowing for online betting anywhere in the US, transactions were categorized under one main code, 7995.
The New Jersey, Nevada, And Delaware Effect
In 2013, when online gambling was officially legalized in the states of New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware, players and operators still faced the challenged of the dreaded 7995. Even though the transactions should have been approved, financial institutions retained the blanket decline without any further investigation.
As you can imagine, that did not sit well with the casinos or the customers so, in 2015, new codes were added by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express to define further the transaction that was initiated.
The three new codes categorized the following:
- Government-run online lotteries
- Regulated online casinos
- Regulated events for online horse and dog racing
Mastercard also has a newer code that is used for cash advances for legal gambling.
This doesn’t open up approvals across the board but does allow for easier use within the state lines of Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.
Non-Direct Use Of Credit Cards
Even if you aren’t able to use your credit card for a straight deposit into a betting account, there are still some ways you can use it, and you may even save yourself some money by taking a different route.
These days, gambling sites have expanded their menus, adding to the traditional credit card and wire transfer methods to include e-wallets like Skrill or PayPal as well as Bitcoin. Bitcoin has become one of the more favored ways to conduct financial transactions as there isn’t an overseeing authority designating how you can and can’t use your money.
e-Wallets Betting Sites
Can be funded with a credit card by using an exchange company like Coinbase. You set up your credit card and transfer in from your local currency, and it can then be exchanged to Bitcoin and put into your wallet for a direct transfer to any sportsbook or casino that takes this cryptocurrency.
In some cases, depending on your “between” method used, you could save yourself some fees that the sportsbook may apply to credit card transactions.
Bitcoin Betting Sites Evolving into Credit Card Sites
In 2014, Bitstarz became the first Bitcoin-only casino to start taking credit cards. It may seem like an odd thing to do because Bitcoin allows for such easy deposits and withdrawals, but if you think about it, it makes sense.
Credit cards have a higher acceptance rate for deposits than payouts and players don’t want to wait weeks to receive a check in the mail or be made to set up a bank transfer.
Accepting credit cards for deposits and then converting to Bitcoin for withdrawals allows for nearly instant transactions in both directions for the customer, as well as a way to put some Bitcoin away for investment purposes. If cash in hand is needed quickly, though, an exchange service can also transfer that Bitcoin to your designated traditional currency and put it in your bank account or credit your card.
Debit, Prepaid, And Gift Alternatives
We’re talking specifically about credit cards here, but there are plenty of similar card alternatives that may offer easier acceptance and lower fees.
Debit cards have been used as long as credit cards in the world of online betting and usually go hand in hand with the credit card structure. So, instead of saying credit cards and debit cards are allowed, the site may just put all Visa designated cards, Mastercard and Maestro into one category. The fee structure is typically the same, and the acceptance is still in the hands of the bank or card provider.
Gift and prepaid cards that have the Visa designation or are provided by another primary card company will usually come with the same charges attached, if any, but may allow for easier approval.
These types of non-credit based cards act as cash transactions as the prepaid cards are loaded with a designated amount of money and your debit card is pulling directly from your checking account based on your available balance.
The Benefits to Credit Card Gambling
- Speedy deposits so you have your money available for betting in an instant
- Allows for currency exchange
- Many players have at least one credit card
- Depending on available card credit, you can keep overspending at bay
- Outside of the US, most credit card transactions into a casino, sportsbook, or poker room are free
- Can use credit cards to fund alternative methods like e-wallets or Bitcoin
The Downside to Credit Cards
- Not always offered as payout alternatives
- The approval is up to the card issuer and not always tied to your available balance
- US players have a much smaller chance of being approved
- Banks can consider your transaction to be a cash advance and charge you a higher percentage rate
- Casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms may charge fees for credit card use and a higher rate for international transactions
- You can bet above your means and you’re using money you have to pay back