The holidays are upon us and you just realized that you haven't bought any gifts for the children, nieces, nephews and grandparents. Or perhaps, you've bought gifts for those people but you're looking for the perfect gift for your child’s teacher or a colleague at work.
Or maybe, you simply want to have a night on the town outside of the holiday season but don’t want to break the bank. Gift cards are a thoughtful and practical way to go in each instance.
But buying gift cards gets expensive very quickly: ten $50 gift cards and you’re already at $500 before taxes. So what did you do? After, there isn't a "clearance rack" for gift cards...or is there?
While there isn't a clearance rack per say, it turns out that you actually can buy discount gift cards. This doesn't make you cheap -- it makes you financially savvy. In this blog post, we’re going to show you where you can go to buy discount gift cards and save money.
Where To Buy Discounted Gift Cards: The 5 Best Online Sellers
Whenever you get discount gift cards, be sure to buy from trusted sellers. The last thing you want is to be swindled. Below, we look at five reputable websites where you can get discount gift cards.
Right off the bat, you can get 10% off your first purchase on their website using the promo code FIRST ($20 maximum savings). This is a double win considering you'll also be buying the gift cards at a discount.
You can buy discount gift cards for a huge selection of retailers for up to 30% off. Popular brands include Airbnb, Delta Airlines, H & M clothing, Chili’s, and many more.
Another cool feature on Raise.com is that you can buy full-priced gift cards and get up to 15% cash back on the Raise website to use on future purchases. So even if you don’t find the card you want at a discount, you have another way to save money.
For a period of 90 days from your original date of purchase, Raise will cover any physical cards that were not received within 30 days of your date of purchase. However, it says that its money-back guarantee will not cover cards the USPS can confirm was delivered to the address you provided with your order.
CardCash has discount gift cards for popular stores like Starbucks, Walmart, CVS, Subway, Kohls, and more.
According to their website, CardCash provides buyers with a 100% 45-day guarantee. This means every gift card you purchase from CardCash will be valid at the merchant for the dollar amount specified for a full 45 days from the date of purchase. If you or the person you bought the card for experiences any problems with the card balance within those 45 days, you can contact CardCash for a refund.
CardCash also has a Facebook Community you can join where you get early access to new discount gift cards.
3. Gift Card Granny
Gift Card Granny was one of the first entrants to the discount gift card space and it's still one of the most popular online sellers today. It buys and sells gift cards (and eGift cards) from virtually every retailer that offers them in addition to selling custom Visa or Mastercard gift cards.
On their home page, Gift Card Granny displays many of the most popular brand names along with their current discounts. When I checked the site, Panera gift cards were 4% off and Land's End cards were 10% off, for two examples. Other cards offered cash back, such as Apple ($2.50 back) and Dunkin' Donuts ($0.25 cash back).
With the Visa and Mastercards, you can add your picture or logo. That adds a nice personal touch when you're sending gift cards to friends and family or business clients. Finally, Gift Card Granny offers free shipping on physical gift cards from 62 different brands.
Cardpool has a simple interface that allows you to buy discount gift cards to your favorite retailers. They don’t have as large of an inventory as some of the other sites on this list, but they're still worth checking out.
Notable features include their 60-day moneyback guarantee and free USPS shipping on physical gift cards. And, depending on the card you're looking for, you could nab some serious discounts. For example, when I checked the site, they were offering 22% off California Pizza Kitchen gift cards and 15% off Red Lobster cards.
Related: How To Save Money Eating Out
Although Giftcards.com focuses on selling gift cards at full price, a unique feature you can access on their website makes adding them to this list legitimate.
Through Giftcards.com you can buy multi-store gift cards - single cards that can be used at different stores. If you are buying for somebody but you’re not sure which store gift card they would enjoy most, this is how you can still wow them.
GO2bank is a mobile bank account that has a ton of great features (so you should consider them anyway - check out our GO2bank review here). But the one feature that stands out is the ability to buy discounted gift cards.
When you purchase eGift Cards from the nearly 100 popular merchants in the GO2bank mobile app, you can earn up to 7% cash back*. You’ll earn 3% cash back on Amazon eGift Cards. You must use your GO2bank card to make the purchase - but that can be huge savings!
What You Need To Know About Getting Gift Cards At A Discount
Websites are able to offer discount gift cards because people sell them who no longer need or want them. Their inventory, therefore, is based on what people are selling to them at any given time. This means that, depending on the season, you may or may not find specific gift cards.
You should know that the cards that are in least demand are always the ones with the deeper discounts. And, of course, the ones that are in high demand will have smaller discounts and go quickly.
For example, gas, grocery, and technology stores like Apple and Google Play usually go fast. If you need a gift card that a lot of other people are looking to nab too, you shouldn't wait until the last minute to look for it.
Finally, it should be noted that when you buy discount gift cards from online retailers, you may get a code instead of an actual card. So if you plan on giving it as a birthday or holiday gift, you'll have to get creative with how you present it.
In this article, we only covered a few of many websites that offer discount gift cards. Feel free to let us know in the comments below if you have a favorite site that wasn't mentioned!
* Activated chip-enabled GO2bank card required to purchase eGift Cards. Active GO2bank account required to receive eGift Cards. eGift Card merchants subject to change. See Deposit Account Agreement (PDF) for details.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.