A gift card exchange is a really easy way to save money, but it’s not something most people ever think about. People all over the country receive gift cards they don’t really want either from returning things to stores or from presents. When they don’t have a reason to use these cards it makes sense for them to sell them at a discount rather than get something they don’t want. This creates a great opportunity for you to buy these cards at less than face value to make your purchases at a discount.
Where to buy discounted gift cards without getting cheated
Although you can save lots of money with gift cards, its also easy to get cheated and lose the whole value. Here’s what you need to do to make sure to not get cheated.
EBay- Although lots of gift cards get sold at good discounts get sold on EBay I would not recommend buying these cards. A lot of cards sold on EBay are being sold by identity thieves who purchased them with stolen credit cards. By the time you receive your cards in the mail the theft will have been discovered and the gift card you paid for will have been cancelled.
Craigslist- Gift cards are often sold on Craigslist for discounts much greater than you can find anywhere else. Similar to EBay, these cards could possibly be fraudulent, but you have the opportunity to check things out before buying. You can check the person you are buying from out by doing web searches so you at least know who you are dealing with.
The next thing you can do to make sure the card is good is have the seller meet you at the store the gift card can be used at. The store will be happy to look up the cards value for you and make sure it is legitimate. If it is not possible to meet at the store you should call the 1-800 number on the back of the card to verify the balance before handing over any cash.
Finally if you are buying a card in person you should read the details on the back of the card to make sure there are no dirty tricks from the store that issued it. Does the card expire? Are there fees for using the card? Are there fees for not using the card?
Websites that specialize in selling discounted gift cards
The safest way to buy discounted gift cards is to buy from a website that specializes in buying and selling gift cards. These sites have lots of cards available, don’t mess around with cards that expire or have fees, and guarantee your card is legitimate with money back guarantees.
There are several of these sites available. Cardpool.com is the site I use the most, but there are several other sites that have lots of cards available at good discounts. These sites sell both physical cards and electronic codes. If you buy an electronic gift card code, it will be emailed to you, sometimes immediately, which is handy if you are buying from a website. If you are buying a physical card it will take about a week for the card to be mailed to you, so you have to plan well in advance before making your purchase.
Giftcardgranny.com is a site that compares all the gift card sales sites at once to make it easy to find the biggest discount. I always check giftcardgranny.com before purchasing a gift card.
If you have a card you want to sell, these same sites are the easiest way to sell your card at a reasonable price.
Target is another great place to save money by buying gift cards. Target has an in house credit or debit card called the Red Card which gives you 5% cash back on almost all purchases made at a Target store or at target.com. So using your Red Card to purchase gift cards to another store or restaurant is the easy way to save 5% without having to wait for the mail to come. Because some of the most popular gift cards sell for less than a 5% discount online, the Red Card is sometimes the best way to buy a gift card even if you can wait a week for your card to come in the mail.
When to Buy a Gift Card
When buying a physical card you should buy a gift card whenever you know in advance you will be spending money at a store or restaurant that has discounted gift cards available. You should buy at least a week in advance if ordering a physical card online, or at least a day in advance if buying from Target to make sure the card has time to be activated.
If you are shopping online however, you can buy electronic gift cards and have the codes emailed to you instantly. I recommend you search for a gift card anytime you decide to make an online purchase, just to see if you can save a couple of extra dollars.
My favorite place to use gift cards is at Home Depot. First I pick what I want and see how much it will cost from homedepot.com . Then I see how much it will cost and go buy an electronic gift card for either the exact amount I need, or just under the amount I need. I don’t like to have extra gift cards laying around with small balances. Then I go ahead and make my purchase using the electronic gift card I just bought selecting the “pick up in store” option instead of having it shipped.
After a couple of hours, Home Depot sends me a text telling me my order is ready. I then go to the store and pick up my order which is sitting in a cart for me ready to go. Not only do I save money, I don’t even have to walk around the store looking for stuff.
So that is how to save money by buying discounted gift cards. Not only is this one of the easiest ways to save money, but it is also stack-able with any other great deals you can find. By stack-able I mean that you can use two deals at the same time to save big money instead of being hit by the dreaded disclaimer “not available with other offers.”