How to Save Money Buying Gift Cards
Would you like to purchase gift cards at a discount? It seems too good to be true, but many online companies are offering discounted gift cards for great places such as Aeropostale, American Eagle, Chili’s, Disney Store, HH Gregg, Home Depot, Walmart, JCPenney, Kohls, Macaroni Grill, Maggiano’s , Red Robin, Sky Mall, Target, and more!
How Does It Work
The online companies such as Plastic Jungle buys unwanted gift cards for cash at a reduced price (around 92% of the true value of the card) then sells them to customers at a discount. The discount is anywhere from 3% up to 40% off the actual value of the gift card depending on the site and the popularity of the product.
For example, if a gift card is worth $64.38 then the company would sell it to you for $59.23 for an 8% cost reduction. It is a sale before you hit the stores.
Best Way to Save
If you are planning a large shopping trip to Home Depot, JCPenny, or any other retailer the best way to save is to purchase a discounted gift card in advance and save a certain percentage. For example, Cardpool offers Home Depot at a 7% reduction. If you purchase the cards early then take them to make your purchases at Home Depot during a sale you will save the additional money from the sale. This type of reduction on the gift card covers most of the taxes on your sale at the store.
This approach can be used prior to home renovations, for school shopping, grocery shopping, or prior to a vacation when you know you will be dining out at a specific restaurant.
Sites such as Cardpool allows customers to pay using a credit card. If your credit card has a cash back promotion then your purchase of the gift card on your credit card can earn you cash back.
Example: Purchased Home Depot Gift Card at 7% reduction $105.99 gift card cost $98.57. Charge the $98.57 on credit card offering 2% cash back and earn $1.97 back. Total savings is $9.39! If this process is repeated 10 times at the same rate consumers can save almost $100. The savings will continue to add up as the process is repeated.
The major drawback for this program is tying your money up in gift cards. If you purchase an item at a specific store using one of the discounted gift cards the store will only refund your purchase on a gift card or for a store credit. This is ok if you shop at a location frequently, but if the project or shopping is a one time or very infrequent occurrence you may be left holding an unwanted gift card.
Planning in advance can help save money by using coupons, purchasing discounted gift cards, or using discount books such as an Entertainment Book. Know what you want to buy and how much you can afford to spend before tying up your cash in gift cards.
Do you have any money savings ideas? Have you tried buying discounted gift cards? Did you think it was a good deal? Feel free to post comments or suggestions about saving money.