Find out how to save some money on all the best gift cards here.
*My article on making money with gift cards is also a must read!
Over the past few years gift cards have become more and more popular as gift ideas for not only acquaintances and coworkers, but close friends and family as well.
Recipients are actually requesting gift cards more now than ever, leading to an all time high rate of gift cards being bought.
In today’s economics times, gift cards are just more practical. You’re giving someone the option to buy exactly the things they want and need. Let’s face it, it also makes it a lot easier on you during the gift searching process.
Gift cards are also one of the best ways to meet the minimum spending requirements for credit card bonuses as well.
Best Ways To Save Money On Gift Cards
Gift cards are sold just about everywhere these days. Supermarkets, malls, grocery stores, gas stations – you name it. But, you’re basically paying full price for the face value of the gift card.
Merchant-branded gift cards don’t involve Purchase activation fees, so a $25 gift card will cost you $25. Visa, MasterCard, and American Express gift cards all require a Purchase Fee, which can be anywhere from roughly $3 to close to $6 or so depending on where you buy.
Buy Discounted Gift Cards From Exchange Sites
You’re basically buying previously owned gift cards at a discounted rate. These gift card exchange sites will only carry merchant-branded options, since there’d be no reason for someone to sell off their Visa or MasterCard gift card. *Use the gift card exchange sites noted below to sell off any unwanted gift cards you may have also.
My 3 favorite sites for buying discounted gift cards (check all 3 because availability may be different between them all):
|Raise.com is one of the best for buying gift cards and it’s my personal favorite.
New Customers! Save $5 off orders $25+ with code RAISE25AF (Ends 9.30.16)
Save On The Popular Gift Cards Below
|CardPool is my second favorite source for discounted gift cards, but it’s a close second. Save even more money by referring your friends to CardPool and get $5 per person. The friend you referred will also get a $5 coupon as well. I review CardPool here.
Save On The Popular Gift Cards Below
|GiftCardGranny is a database gift card gathering search tool. Compares prices from different sources, but I find it’s not always up to date. I just added it in here for variety, but don’t find myself using it often.|
Buy Discounted Gift Cards On eBay
There are two ways of buying gift cards on eBay:
- Through the eBay Gift Cards Store: you’re just purchasing gift cards at face value and using eBay as a place to buy them. You’re not getting them at a discount.
- Search for gift cards on eBay: with the “Buy It Now” options, you’re not really going to save that much more on gift cards compared to the gift card exchange sites above. You can save more money by being patient and bidding on the gift card auctions. This may or may not be worth the trouble for you, but you’ll likely save some decent change. You’ll also sometimes find high valued gift cards on Ebay that may not be available through the exchange sites. I like buying my Starbucks gift cards on Ebay, and I can usually score a really good deal.
Save On The Popular Gift Cards Below
American Express and Visa Gift Cards
You can get Visa Gift Cards from GiftCardMall. You won’t really save any money on Visa Gift Cards unless a promotion pops up to save on the Purchase Fee.
With American Express, however, you can save money on either the Purchase Fees and/or the Shipping Fees with promotion codes. Find updated Amex Gift Card promotion codes here. American Express Gift Cards page.
Most Popular Gift Cards For 2016
American Express Gift Cards
A sure winner in the office setting, these are accepted everywhere American Express is accepted. They are good gift options for your employees, as well as friends and family. The one drawback is the purchase fee that is involved in each one you buy at your local drug store or supermarket. Besides locally, you really can only get them through the American Express Gift Card webpage. See American Express Gift Card savings and coupons.
Amazon Gift Card
Slowly becoming one of the most popular gift cards, with Amazon carrying millions of items in just about every single category you can think of. You can actually find Amazon Gift Cards through the gift card exchange sites also.
Visa gift Card
Visa is accepted almost everywhere credit cards are accepted, so this adds a little more convenience for the recipient. Whether at a local store or online, these will require purchases fees (usually $3.95 or $4.95). Shipping fees may also apply buying online as well.
Starbucks Gift Cards
This is always a safe bet for those who need their cup of joe every morning. Plus, you can get quite a bargain on these from sources like Ebay.
Target or Walmart Gift Card
I grouped these together because a shopper will usually only be either a Walmart shopper OR a Target shopper. Both are very popular for the holidays.
Restaurant Gift Cards
The benefit to the buyer is that most restaurants give extra incentives or bonuses for buying their gift cards (i.e. buy a $25 gift card, get a bonus $5). The negative is obviously the fact that you’re restricting the recipient to just that one venue, so be sure it’s one of their favorites.
Supermarket Gift Cards
I’d recommend getting one from a specialty or organic friendly market, like a Central Market or Whole Foods (the most popular).
Warehouse Gift Cards
The most popular is the Costco Cash Card. A neat feature is that you can shop at any Costco with it without even being a member(saving $50 to $100 in membership fees).
The Gap Gift Card
Many people don’t realize that this sucker can be used at all the stores in the Gap family (Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime or Athleta). So, from the standpoint of an apparel gift card, this is one of the most versatile.
Home Depot | Lowe’s | Bed Bath & Beyond Gift Cards
While there are some product selection differences between Home Depot and Lowe’s, most men are going to go to the home improvement store most convenient to them. For women though, skip both options and opt for a Bed Bath & Beyond gift card instead.
Victoria Secret Gift Card
It’s hard to leave this one off the list, as nearly 25% of women prefer it over other options.
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