When you're looking for a way to make the most of your money, it's important to get creative. Purchasing gift cards for less than their face value is one way to stretch your budget to buy more with less. Use these five helpful tips to get your hands on gift cards at a discount!
Buy From Retail Warehouse Stores
If you have a membership to a retail warehouse store, such as Sam's Club, Costco, or BJ's, shop there first when you are in the market to purchase gift cards and would like to save money. The amount of money you can expect to save varies by card, but these stores always sell brand new gift cards, in standard increments, for less than face value.
Each store offers gift cards for a variety of different retailers that members can purchase online or in-store. Some cards are available by digital delivery. In some cases, you can purchase individual cards, but in others you will be required to purchase a bundle of multiple cards to the same store. The bundles are very convenient if you are purchasing cards to give as gifts to several people as well as if you are purchasing cards for merchants where you shop frequently yourself.
Shop Gift Card Exchange Sites
Gift card exchange sites like CardCash, Cardpool, and Raise are a great place to find gift cards to purchase at a discount. These three sites, which are listed on TopTenReviews.com as "the best gift card exchange services of 2018," are gift card marketplaces that allow people to sell gift cards they don't want to people who want to purchase them at a discount.
The gift cards on these sites often have odd amounts, because they may have been partially used. With that in mind, these sites may not be the best option to shop for cards to give as a gift. However, if you simply want to save money on your own purchases, they can be terrific. In some cases, you may receive a physical gift card when shopping this way, but in some cases you may simply receive a digital code.
Get Discount Gift Cards on Mobile
When you decide which of the discount gift card sites you like best, consider installing their mobile apps on your smartphone. That way, you can look for (and purchase!) great deals on gift cards while you are standing in line in the store. You'll be able to process your transaction in a snap and use it at the cash register, directly from your phone.
- The Raise mobile app is available for iPhone and Android.
- The CardCash mobile app is available for iOS and Android.
- The Cardpool mobile app is available only for iOS.
Rely on Gift Card Granny
No, this doesn't mean that you should ask your grandmother to purchase gift cards for you! There is a website called Gift Card Granny that will help you find the best deals on gift cards. The site is not a reseller. Instead, it is set up to search through the various sites that sell gift cards to help you quickly and easily locate the best prices on what you are looking for.
Using this site can help you save time. Instead of scouring several sites yourself to find great prices on gift cards to the retailers you frequent, you can rely on this site to narrow things down to the best available deals that meet your needs.
Additionally, this site offers a rewards program that can help you save even more. Once you register to participate, you will earn points toward a free gift card with every purchase you make through the site. So, not only are you getting great deals as you shop, you are also building credit for a future freebie with each transaction!
Redeem Credit Card Points
The ultimate discount price for a gift card is zero. If you have a credit card with a points-based rewards program, chance are that you have the option of redeeming the points for free gift cards. If you aren't one who hoards points for major purchases, trading them in for gift cards can be a great way to get gift cards for free. Depending on how you use your credit card and how your points accrual works, this can be a great way to get your special occasion shopping done without having to outlay cash, or to get gift cards to use yourself to offset the cost of everyday purchases, entertainment, or travel.
An article on GiftCards.com suggests you can maximize value by watching for special offers that allow you to redeem for gift cards with fewer points than ordinary. If you log in to your credit card's rewards program frequently to see what gift cards are available, you will get a sense of the "cost" (in points) from various merchants in certain denominations and be able to keep an eye out for special deals that make your points even more valuable.
Of course, you shouldn't increase your credit card balance in order to get more points for gift cards. The value of points, no matter how you use them, can quickly be wiped out if you incur interest charges. The ideal approach is to use your credit card only to the extent that you can pay it off in full every month. Only then will the gift cards you get for free by using points truly help you save money.
Maximize Your Savings
When it comes to making the most of your money, there are a number of creative options to consider. To maximize your savings, combine this approach with other options like getting in the habit of looking for coupons and discount offers. Search RetailMeNot for discount codes or print grocery coupons before you go shopping, then pay for as much of the total as you can with gift cards purchased below face value.