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Is There Such a Thing as the Best Gun Credit Card?

The gun eCommerce industry is growing rapidly, bringing both positive aspects as well as consumer concerns. Some of these concerns include secure online payments and whether credit card companies can track gun purchases.

In this article, we will be addressing these worries, providing clarity on what occurs after you click ‘buy’ and select a payment method, as well as answer the burning question of whether there is such a thing as the best gun credit card.

Plus, we will offer advice to newcomer business owners regarding the importance of gun-friendly credit card processing and the requirements for obtaining credit card services for their operations.

Can You Buy a Gun With a Credit Card?

Yes, and in fact this is one of the most common ways to purchase a firearm online. However, some credit card processors used by retailers (such as online gun stores) may have terms of service agreements that prohibit transactions involving weapons. 

Payment processors that prohibit or restrict gun transactions are for instance PayPal, Apple Pay, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Zelle, Coinbase, Stripe, Square, and Paystand.

What Do You Need to Know about Buying a Gun by Credit Card?

One of the biggest concerns gun enthusiasts have regarding buying firearms with a credit card is that credit card companies can track the purchase of the firearm. 

Are Credit Card Companies Tracking Gun Purchases?

In September 2022, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) agreed to establish a new merchant category code for guns, which allows banks and credit card companies to track the sale and purchase of firearms by credit card. Before that, guns were under generic merchant codes such as “miscellaneous retail stores” or “sporting goods stores”.

It didn’t take long for credit card companies to state they are going to move forward with this new categorization. However, in March 2023, these same companies, among them Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover, dropped their plans to track gun purchases. Currently, firearm purchases are not tracked in a special category.

Do You Need to Pay an Extra Fee?

Another small, but important detail you should know about, is that you might be charged a small fee for credit card transactions.

Overall the pros of paying with a credit card are as with any other purchase: you can pay off large gun purchases over time, some cards may even offer 0% financing, and the ability to earn credit card rewards. 

Can You Buy With a Credit Card From a General Store (i.e., a credit card with a store brand on it)?

As long as such stores work with gun-friendly credit card companies (processors), yes. But you might have difficulties with large retailers such as Walmart if you want to use that credit card as they generally only work with the major credit card companies and their associates.

What Is the Best Gun Credit Card? 

There is no one best gun credit card. When you go online to purchase a firearm there are payment methods to choose from – usually from among the biggest credit card companies – Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, or Discover.

The difference between Visa and Mastercard, and American Express and Discover is that Visa and Mastercard process credit card transactions, but they don’t issue credit cards. Your card might say “Visa” or “Mastercard” on it, but it is issued by a bank, like Chase or Citi. American Express and Discover, by contrast, process transactions and issue their own cards. In contrast to Visa and Mastercard, you can have an account directly with Discover or an account directly with AMEX.

For online gun shop owners, AMEX is probably the most business-friendly credit card company. Wells Fargo also has a historically gun-friendly reputation in banking, although they cut ties with the NRA a few years ago. The credit card you will apply for and whether you will be approved depends on factors such as your personal credit score, revenue, time in business, credit card utilization, and more. 

When choosing a business credit card, here are some key factors to consider:

  • Annual fee: Evaluate whether the annual fee (if any) is justified by the card’s rewards and benefits. 
  • Rewards structure: Look for a rewards program that aligns with your business spending habits. 
  • Sign-up bonus: Many business cards offer lucrative sign-up bonuses if you meet a minimum spending requirement within the first few months.
  • Interest rate: If you plan to carry a balance, compare the annual percentage rates (APRs) on purchases and balance transfers. Lower APRs can save you money on interest charges.
  • Employee cards: Some cards allow you to issue employee cards at no additional cost, which can be useful when tracking and managing employee expenses.
  • Purchase protection: Many credit cards offer extended warranty coverage, purchase protection against damage or theft, and other safeguards for eligible purchases.
  • Credit limit: Ensure that the credit limit suits your business’s spending needs.

The Importance of Gun-Friendly Credit Card Processing

Credit card processing is quite simply the acceptance of card payments. Funds should move smoothly from the customer’s credit card account to the merchant’s account. For the online customer, this is something that happens “behind the scenes”, after they click “buy”. 

Here’s how it works: 

  • The payment processor sends the card information to the relevant card network (Mastercard, Visa, etc) for approval.
  • The network informs the payment processor whether the payment has been approved.
  • If it has, the merchant can complete the transaction with the customer.
  • The payment processor tells the bank that issued the customer’s card to transfer funds to the acquiring bank (i.e. the merchant’s bank).
  • The merchant gains access to the money immediately, or in a few business days.

Throughout this procedure, the payment processor also conducts anti-fraud checks. It verifies information like the country where the card was issued and the past payment records to assess the likelihood of approving the transaction.

While you, as a customer, don’t directly choose a processor, you can trust the merchant to have selected a reliable one. Such stores partner with gun-friendly processors to ensure smooth and secure transactions. Your job is to research the gun seller in whom you will be putting your trust.

If you’re opening a firearms business, it is also of utmost importance to choose the right payment processor. Gun-friendly companies such as ours have tons of experience in providing the best services at the best prices. We have been helping businesses with their credit card processing needs since 1989.

Wrap Up 

As you can see, the credit card processing landscape is rather dynamic and ever-changing and evolving. As a consumer, you’d most likely stay with the one you already have.  

However, as a business owner, you will need to find a trustworthy processor who can not only look after your operations and merchant account, but can also help you with your credit card needs based on your specific business, spending patterns, and priorities.