Gift cards are increasingly popular as gifts because they offer the recipient the chance to choose something that he or she really wants. If you put careful thought into the gift card you purchase, it’s possible to make it personal.
A gift card to the recipient’s favorite restaurant or store, a gift card to the spa, or a gift card for a unique experience, like skydiving or a helicopter tour, can be a good way to give the gift of experience.Buying discounted gift cards is one of my favorite ways to save money and stay on budget. You can hack your way into saving hundreds of dollars a year by buying cheap gift cards.
Discounted gift cards are gift cards that are sold for less than whatever the value of the card is.
How to Find a Sale on Gift Cards
It used to be that gift cards only sold for face value, and you would rarely (if ever) find a sale of any kind on a gift card. But merchants have figured out that customers who come into their stores to redeem gift cards are profitable customers because they;
(i) are more likely to buy full-priced merchandise than customers spending their own money,
ii) will likely overspend the value of their gift cards, and/or
(iii) will make multiple trips into the store to redeem their gift cards. Merchants who want more of these shoppers in their stores offer discounts on their gift cards to lure both gift-givers looking to save money on gifting and savvy shoppers who buy discount gift cards to save on their own planned expenses.
Cardpool is another marketplace with competitive discounts of up to 35% off and a one-year purchase guarantee.
You will find many restaurant and retail brands here, too. Since Cardpool also buys physical gift cards, you’ll find a large selection of them as well.
There can be hundreds of available cards for one brand, but Cardpool’s Swift Buy search tool helps you quickly find the best offer for your budget.
With other marketplaces, you have to scroll through the listings by face value or discount amount. If your desired amount isn’t at the top of the list, you can scroll for a while.
Raise is one of the biggest gift card marketplaces. Flash sales are frequently available and might help you save more money.
Due to the variety and savings, I typically utilize Raise more than the other marketplaces.
The inventory of Raise gift cards changes quickly, therefore prices and special offers are always subject to modification.
If you want to buy numerous gift cards at once, it pays to check back every day because most gift cards sell out within a day.
You can take advantage of reduced gift cards for:
- Cold Stone Creamery
All purchases are covered by a one-year guarantee. If your card is inactive, you can receive a full refund. The Raise customer support team has been very supportive when I have a question, too.
3. Gift Card Granny
Using Gift Card Granny, a “gift card search engine,” you may easily locate a fantastic deal. Gift Card Granny will obtain the costs from the various online marketplaces when you enter the retailer you’re looking for.
Install the Otto browser extension to identify gift cards for every online purchase, ensuring that you never miss out on a gift card opportunity.
Gift Card Granny offers discounted gift cards as well as a loyalty program. You gain points for opening promoted emails and purchasing gift cards.
GiftCards.com advertises itself as the leading gift card website. This site has a rewards program that gives you G-Money points when you buy select gift cards from them.
You can save your G-Money points and use them for future gift card purchases. When you click on the “Discount” tab at the top of the home page screen, the site will take you to a selection of discounted gift cards.
You can buy select gift cards for up to 25% off of face value.
Swagbucks offers multiple opportunities to get free or discounted gift cards. Unlike the other gift card marketplaces, you don’t buy discounted gift cards from individual sellers.
You have these two options for getting discounted gift cards:
- Buying gift cards from MyGiftCardsPlus.com
- Redeeming rewards points for gift cards
When you purchase a gift card on MyGiftCardsPlus, you pay face value for the gift card (i.e. pay $25 for a $25 gift card), but you get cashback as Swagbucks rewards points.
You can redeem these points for future gift card rewards. MyGiftCardsPlus also offers bonus cashback days and “Swag Ups” that let you earn extra points.
The second redemption option is redeeming your SB rewards points for gift cards on Swagbucks.com.
You can begin redeeming your points for gift cards when your balance reaches $3.
Swagbucks also pays you for these activities:
- Filling out online surveys
- Watching videos
- Conducting web searches
- Playing games
- Printing grocery coupons
GiftCardMall.com sells gift cards for a variety of retailers. Here, you may purchase gift cards by brand, event, category, and more.
There is a tab labeled “Discount Cards” in the site’s upper right-hand corner. You can purchase cheap gift cards when you select that tab.
Gift card varieties and prizes for discounted cards change every day. When viewing the cards, you can click the “purchase now” option to display the offer price.
7. Air Miles Cash
If you collect Air Miles Cash, you can easily get gift cards for free. Buy them during their promotions, which usually happen every month. During their last promotion, I bought my husband Rona gift cards for his “honey-do” list and got an AMAZING DEAL. Here’s how:
- I cashed in 95 miles for $10 to spend in the store.
- On promotion, I “spent” $40 and got 95 miles back (worth $10).
- I bought him 2 x $40 gift cards and it only cost me 2 x $30 Air Miles Cash (NOTHING out of pocket).
They also offer gift cards at Shell, Metro, Staples, Cineplex, and others.
You can buy gift cards at Cardswap.ca for places where you regularly shop. If you know you will be making a purchase from Old Navy, first, visit Cardswap.ca to get an Old Navy gift card.
Every gift card you buy (or sell) earns you Swappoints which you can cash in for free gift cards. The percentages you earn depend on the retailer, and range from 3%-15%. It is quick and easy and helps stretch your dollars.
9. Switch It Out
If you already have a gift card you do not want, consider switching it out. Last Christmas I received a $100 Sears gift card. I went to Sears on three separate occasions and couldn’t find anything that I was excited to buy for that amount.
I was able to buy a pre-paid Visa for the same amount with my Sears gift card. There was a small activation fee, but it was worth it for me to be able to buy exactly what I wanted at another store.
Kijiji is another option for getting discounted gift cards. Before I make a major purchase at a store, I watch Kijiji for reduced gift cards. I recently saw an ad for a $500 Urban Barn Gift Card, and they were asking $400 or best offer. If you were about to buy a couch at Urban Barn this would be a fantastic saving!
To buy a gift card privately, meet at the store to verify the amount prior to your purchase.
Getting gift cards for a discount is great, but imagine the thrill of winning them? Many of the prizes for contests these days are gift cards for different retailers! Now that’s an exciting prize to win!
12. Just Ask
With Christmas approaching, the most obvious way to get gift cards is to ask for them. If you love them as much as I do, put them on your Christmas list. Chances are, others will enjoy purchasing something they know you will love (that doesn’t require wrapping!). What better way to get a gift card for free?
Gift cards can be significant money-saving tools. You can use them to free up money in the budget for other purchases. You can also use them for gifts and occasional splurges. However, you use gift cards, enjoy getting them either discounted or free.
For local restaurants, Restaurant.com offers excellent gift card options. My wife and I have purchased a certificate for date night from Restaurant.com.
You can usually get gift cards for at least 50% off. For instance, a $25 gift card usually costs $10, or a $50 gift card costs $20. With these discounts, you can easily get one of your meals for free.
Keep in mind that most restaurants have a minimum spending requirement of $30 to redeem the gift card.
My wife and I have also used eBay periodically to get discounted gift cards.
Personally, I prefer some of the other marketplaces mentioned above because they tend to offer better discounts. And, they have stronger buyer protection policies.
Pay attention to these three factors:
- Shipping costs
- Seller feedback rating
- Selling price compared to other marketplaces
I recommend Craigslist for buying gift cards to local businesses that can verify the balance before you buy it from the seller. Once again, when we built our house and it was time to buy flooring, we looked on Craigslist for a deal.
We ended up finding somebody selling a gift card at a discount to one of our local flooring stores. So, we met at the store and the cashier verified the balance before I paid for the certificate.
If you can buy used, the savings from using sites like Craigslist can be greater than the savings from buying from gift card sites.
CardHub is a website that specializes in credit cards and prepaid cards – but, it also offers discount gift cards too.
And, unlike most gift card exchange websites, CardHub caters to countries outside of the USA too, like the UK and Canada.
On CardHub, you can find discount gift cards at up to 50% off.
17. ABC Gift Cards
Purchase gift cards at up to 35% off at ABC Gift Cards.
This easy-to-use website provides discount gift cards for a huge selection of popular retailers. So, whether it’s Calvin Klein or Amazon, you can find plenty of great cards at this site.
The website also offers a 45-day guarantee and free shipping. Cards take up to seven days to arrive.
18. Reload Your Amazon Gift Card Balance
When you reload your Amazon gift card balance, you can get a $5 bonus. As you may notice, it’s very difficult to find discounted Amazon gift cards. In most cases, you can only get them through an online side hustle.
Whether you buy a gift card from Amazon or at the grocery store, you can qualify for this redemption bonus.
One reason why I use the TopCashback site is for their 5% payout bonus when you request gift card payment. Your cash balance is worth 5% more with gift card payments.
You won’t have a problem finding a store with a payout bonus because TopCashback partners with some of the largest retailers in the country.
Some of the gift card redemption options include:
Of course, you will also earn bonus cash on every online purchase you make through TopCashback. They offer cashback on most of the gift card marketplaces mentioned above.
20. Buy Groceries with Ibotta
With the Ibotta grocery app, you get cashback on your grocery purchases and in-app purchases.
Once your balance reaches $20 you can request PayPal or gift card payment. And, you get a $10 signup bonus after redeeming your first offer.
Ibotta also runs monthly promotions for bonus cash. If you’re going to buy a particular product or shop at a certain online store, you automatically receive the bonus cash.
When I say Staples.com, you probably think of a website for buying copy paper, binders, marking pens, and more. And you’d be right. But Staples.com also offers discount gift cards for some of the most popular merchant brands in the country. And the discounts are awesome!
Staples.com regularly offers discounts on gift cards for iTunes, Gap Brands, Sephora, Applebee’s, and many more stores and restaurants.
It’s also not uncommon to see gift cards on sale for 10 to 20% off or to receive a bonus gift card with the purchase of another. So the next time you want to save on new gift cards, give Staples.com gift cards a look.
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Before purchasing the gift card, make sure it’s worth your time and money. It may not be worth your time to get a gift card that’s only a 10% discount on a $20 card. You’re only saving $2.
Calculate the amount you’re saving before purchasing the gift card to make sure it’s a good deal for you.