Don’t pay full price for gift cards. Use these clever tricks to buy gift cards at a discount.
Use a Gift Card Exchange Site
You can buy discounted gift cards for 10-35% off the face value if you use sites like the following:
These are reputable sites that buy and sell gift cards secondhand. You won’t find every possible gift card on these sites, but what you do find will make it worth your time.
Use a Gift Card to Buy a Different Gift Card
Can’t find the gift card you want at one of the sites listed above? Then buy a discounted gift card to a store like Walmart or Target, and then use that gift card to buy the gift card you want at Walmart or Target.
Buy Gift Cards with a Rewards or Cash-back Credit Card
You should have a credit card that offers you cash back or other rewards, such as airline miles. (If you don’t, you’re missing out on a lot of free money. Read the article “Credit Card Rewards.”) When you buy a gift card with a credit card that gives you 2% cash back, then you effectively got the gift card at a 2% discount.
If you use your cash-back credit card to purchase discounted gift cards from one of the sites listed above, then you not only get the discounted gift card, but you get an additional cash back from your credit card.
Buy Gift Cards with Your Credit Card Rewards Programs/Points
If you have a rewards credit card, it might make more sense to redeem your rewards for a gift card rather than any other type of reward (e.g., cash or miles), since gift card redemptions are often cheaper and also on sale from time to time.
Recently, for example, Citibank credit cards had a redemption offer for a $100 Amazon gift card for 9000 points (a savings of 1000 points or about $10), whereas their typical cash back reward is $50 for 10,000 points.
If you buy gift cards through credit card or travel rewards shopping portals like Chase Ultimate Rewards or Aadvantage, you can earn miles or points on that gift card purchase.
Purchase Gift Cards from the Grocery Store
Many credit cards offer a greater cash back for purchases at a grocery store than at other stores. If you have one of these cards, be sure to purchase your gift cards at the grocery store so that you get the greater cash back.
Buy Gift Cards at a Store With a Rewards Program
Buy a gift card at full price at a grocery store, pharmacy, or office supply store where you have a reward program. Then you get the benefit of that reward program, such as points or other discounts.
Specialized Restaurant Sites
Sites like Restaurant.com, OpenTable.com, and iDine.com offer gift cards, discounts, and gift certificates for a wide range of restaurants. Restaurant.com offers various electronic and physical gift card deals, like $50 for $20 and $250 for $100. OpenTable and iDune gives you points and gift cards for using their services frequently.
Some companies offer their employees (and sometimes their friends and family) discounts and deals. Be sure to check offers from your employer. For example, employees of some stores get discounts at their store. If the store offers gift cards, buy them at the store. Then, be sure to pay for it with your cash-back credit card.
Buy Gift Cards from Warehouse Clubs
Warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club sell discounted gift cards for for restaurants, iTunes, and many other places.
Convert Your Points and Miles to Buy Gift Cards
Many rewards programs at stores earn points that you can redeem to buy gift cards.
Buy Gift Cards on Auction Sites
Many people who have unwanted gift cards sell them on websites like eBay. Make sure you buy from places that offer buyer protection to avoid fraud.
Buy Gift Cards at Target
If you sign up for a Target Red Credit Card or Debit Card, you earn 5% cashback on all of your purchases at Target. So, if you use that card to buy gift cards, you’re getting an automatic 5% discount on all your gift cards.
Buy Gift Cards on RetailMeNot
RetailMeNot.com offers a wide range of coupon and promo cards for thousands of online retailers. They also offer discounted gift cards and printable coupons so you can save in store, too.
Buy Gift Cards Through Rakuten
Tips for Buying Gift Cards
- Buy at the right time. During holidays, retailers offer smaller discounts because they know that people will be shopping more than usual.
- In January and February, after the Christmas shopping rush is over, discounts are likely to be higher. People have more unwanted gift cards at this time that they sell on the discount gift card sites.
- Beware of gift card scams Some people try to sell stolen or counterfeit gift cards. Many gift card exchange websites have guarantees. Be sure to use your cards within the warranty period.
- Gift card offers on exchange websites are constantly changing. So check them often to find the cards you want for the best discount.