Gift Cards are vouchers or coupons, which allow easy gift-giving options, as the giver need not worry about the taste of the taker, or get confused while buying gifts. They have been the most popular type of present for the past 13 years.
The recipient can use the gift card to buy anything he/she wants, rather than the giver gifting an item that the recipient may not like.
But, the problem is that all gift cards are not the same, and this is the reason why the majority of times billions of dollars in the gift-card value goes unused.
- 1 Ideal Ways to Save Money on Gift Cards
- 1.1 9 Places to Find Discount Gift Cards
- 1.2 Tips to Get the Best Gift Card
- 1.2.1 1. Gift Cards are different from Pre-paid Cards
- 1.2.2 2. Check for Discount
- 1.2.3 3. Avoid Loyalty Cards
- 1.2.4 4. Avoid Card-Network Gift Cards
- 1.2.5 5. Tap in Un-redeem Value
- 1.2.6 6. Resale
- 1.2.7 7. Use cash, when in doubt
- 1.2.8 8. Avoid Gift Cards as a Trick to Overspend
- 1.2.9 9. E-Gift Cards are Superb
- 1.2.10 10. Purchase Gift Cards with Rewards
- 1.3 How to Maximize your Gift Card?
- 1.4 Shop at After Holiday Deals and Sales
- 1.5 Use the Gift Cards Judiciously
- 1.6 Sell or Trade Gift Cards
- 1.7 Re-gift them
- 1.8 Conclusion
Ideal Ways to Save Money on Gift Cards
The aim of this article is to help you find the ideal gift card for any occasion – birthday, anniversary, festival, graduation, holiday, etc. We have researched and gathered information based on the following five prominent categories:
- How much discount can you buy them for?
- How favoured are the cards?
- Shipping fees?
- How many people like the retailer?
- How much you can sell them for?
Gift cards are available everywhere, be it a Supermarkets, grocery stores, malls, or gas stations. You need to pay the full price for the face value of that gift card.
The cards that are merchant-branded do not require an activation fee, so a gift card of $30 will cost you $30 only. On the other hand, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express gift card involve a purchase fee ranging from $3 to $6.
So, we suggest you buy a gift card from the Exchange Sites. This means you are purchasing an already owned gift card at a discounted price. These sites only have merchant-branded options.
Thus, for people who want an easy and economical holiday present, gift cards are the best deal. They help you save money and we will show you how.
9 Places to Find Discount Gift Cards
1. Gift Card Granny
Gift Card Granny website accumulates discount gift card from the internet. Here, you can get gift card that cost less than their face values. It is always better to buy a gift card directly from the source, or the one which has full balance in it. You can save as much as 65% when you buy one from Gift Card Granny.
GiftCards.com is a website where you can keep a track of what is available in a discounted gift card with regular alerts as reminders. You can also select from a vast variety of gift cards – accessories, entertainment, clothing, restaurants, travel, etc.
On this website, you will see a limited number of gift cards. So, better buy them when you see the card is in short supply to not miss such a good chance.
The format of Raise is almost like Gift Granny and offers up to 30% discount on gift card from more than 1000 merchants. Here, you will find the best and the biggest of the discounts. You can still check other websites after checking this one to be sure of the discount you are getting, as many discounts are in the range of 1% to 5%.
4. Daily Deal Sites
Some of the daily deal sites are Moolala, Living Social, Groupon, etc. You can get discounted gift card on these websites. They do not always offer a discount, but if you get lucky, you can get a $20 Amazon gift card for $10.
Cardpool is the perfect website if you are looking for a gift card. You can get cards up to 35% of their balance on visiting this site. You will see cards in electronic, mobile, as well as a physical format.
If you choose a physical card, the shipping will be free and you need not pay any extra cost to get the card physically at your doorstep. You can also exchange your unwanted gift card for a new one.
RetailMeNow and Gift Card Zen merge and give discounts on gift cards to 145 merchants. They have a superb range of discounts from 1% to 27%.
CardCash is also a website that offers discounted gift card and has acquired one of its competitors in 2014, called the PlasticJungle. Hundreds of merchants offer discount cards on this website, with some as high as 35%.
The main USP of this site is that their discounts are higher than what other competing websites are offering.
8. ABC Gift Cards
ABC Gift Cards and CardCash.com look virtually the same even in minute detailing. So, if you have to choose between the two, then we suggest you go with CardCash.com.
CardKangaroo boasts of having some of the biggest names in entertainment, restaurants, and retail business. They offer gift card at discounts up to 35%. Usually, the discount is less on the majority of the cards. Their selection is also lesser than Gift card Granny.
Tips to Get the Best Gift Card
Gift cards are one of the best presents one can think of on any occasion. But, would you want a gift card which is good for nothing and lands up in a corner or inside a drawer. We all look for gift cards that we can enjoy using.
So, here are ten tips to make your gift card a success.
1. Gift Cards are different from Pre-paid Cards
Kindly note that gift cards are totally different from prepaid cards. They are reloadable. You put money in it and keep using it. Once the money is over, you can refill it.
Moreover, prepaid cards have certain fees associated with them, and when you gift it to someone they will not get much value on that card.
On the other hand, gift cards only work until the original balance is going. You cannot reload and reuse it.
2. Check for Discount
One may think that it is not possible to save anything on Gift cards, since they are more or less like currency instead of the retail products. However, you can still buy them for less than their face value. All you need to know is where to look for the best deals and discounts.
3. Avoid Loyalty Cards
A usual gift card will not expire until five years from the issue date, but there are times when you receive a non-reloadable gift card through a loyalty, promotion, or awards program, that expires without restriction.
So, it is essential to know that you are actually buying or receiving a gift card and not a loyalty card.
4. Avoid Card-Network Gift Cards
You will also find gift cards from MasterCard, Visa, and Discover, which may seem like cash cards that can be used anywhere. But, they are very inferior to actual gift cards.
Retailers make money instantaneously when their gift cards are bought, but the card-network gift cards earn money from the fees. So, card-network gift cards are as good as having cash.
5. Tap in Un-redeem Value
A gift card remains active for five years. You can unlock the value of the unused gift cards by – selling the unwanted gift cards for cash, exchanging old and unused gift cards to get new ones at some stores, recouping unused funds from expired gift cards.
So, if you have any unused gift cards, lying in some corner, there are chances that it might still be good to go.
In case you do not like the gift card or you are not able to use it, you can always exchange a gift card or swap with a friend or a family member. Isn’t this trick great?
7. Use cash, when in doubt
If you are not sure of any gift card options, then cash is the best gift. It is the most adaptable and functional gift anyone can give. It will also let you give the recipient more value with shipping fees to think about.
8. Avoid Gift Cards as a Trick to Overspend
As per the Consumer Reports, a majority of people spend more than the cards’ face value while redeeming gift cards.
It works the same way as credit cards, where people tend to spend more while using credit cards than while using cash. So, to prevent unnecessary expenses, you should wisely use your gift card and not overspend on it.
9. E-Gift Cards are Superb
Shoppers who are time-crunched and want to avoid shipping fees will benefit a lot from e-gift cards. It is easier to redeem e-cards in terms of time and logistics. The card already has money in it to be used, once you enter the card number to your account.
10. Purchase Gift Cards with Rewards
Several credit cards let you redeem your points for air miles or gift cards. This redemption strategy works superbly in many cases, rather than redeeming for cash.
How to Maximize your Gift Card?
Gift Cards are one of the long-standing gift ideas from a giver’s perspective. They are the safest way of gifting, which will definitely please the recipient. The recipients can shop for whatever they like with the gift cards, and will always thank you for that.
Retailers prefer gift card because they make good money when the customer spends more than the value of their gift card. And if they neglect using their gift card, the retailer still benefits as the money for the gift card has been paid already.
As per a survey by GiftCards.com, 30% of people claim that they have forgotten if they have ever used a gift card, and 30% say they have forgotten to use their gift cards.
This implies that billions of dollars remain unused in these unused and forgotten gift cards. Hopefully, this year you can be smarter in spending and making the best use of your gift cards.
Shop at After Holiday Deals and Sales
If there is a particular store of your choice and you visit it often, then getting good deals there will be fantastic. Many people say that they usually shop post-Christmas and take full advantage of post-holiday sales. This is because the retailers want to get rid of the stock to accommodate new and seasonal stock.
The majority of people say that they pay using gift card at such sales. Stores like Walmart, Amazon, Target, Macy’s, Best Buy, Kohl’s, etc. offer good post-holiday sales.
Shop carefully with the gift cards after the holiday season so that you buy maximum out of that money.
Use the Gift Cards Judiciously
As said earlier, gift cards have a minimum five-year expiration date and this is because of the credit card legislation that was passed due to the financial crisis a decade ago.
Five years may seem a long time and does not imply that you shove the gift card inside the drawers. This way you will forget that you even own a gift card because a human mentality works on ‘Out of sight. Out of mind’.
There are also special gift cards, which are offered as promotions for holiday-season shopping. Such cards do not have a five-year expiration date, instead, they have less validity like 15 days or 90 days.
Stores prefer giving away such cards so that the customer is compelled to visit them again and shop more.
Sell or Trade Gift Cards
In certain cases, where there is no way you are able to make use of your gift card, you can easily sell or re-gift it. You will not get the full cash value, but at least the whole of your money will not go wasted.
Websites like CardCash and Cardpool will help you do some comparison shopping and check where you can get the best exchange for your gift card. The amount you expect to get from your gift card depends on the brand of the card or the retailer.
Big box, electronics, and grocery sectors demand the highest percentage, i.e. at least 50% of the value of any gift card you want to sell or trade.
So, it is advised that you trade your gift card for another card rather than aiming for the cash, as you will end up getting nothing.
No doubt that gift card cut down the chances that the recipient will not like your gift, because with a gift card he/she can purchase whatever they like. But, we all have faced a situation where you have been presented a gift card of a shop or a restaurant you do not visit at all or have had a bad experience with. Such a card is a waste for you.
You can put it to good use by re-gifting it to someone else you know who would like to shop or eat at that place.
This practice will also keep you in your budget and give you a chance to make your friend or family happy by gifting a gift card of a place they are enthusiastic about.
Thinking of the best gift for your loved ones is not easy. These days gifting them a gift card is the best gift considered. We have rounded up everything that you need to know about the best gift cards of 2021. We hope the article helps you to decide where you can get the best gift card. Do let us know which is your best gift card!