Gift Cards as Gifts - How to Get the Best Deal
Gift cards might not be the most sentimental choice for the thoughtful gift-givers out there, but I find that they are a great way to say “Thank You” and “Happy Holidays” to everyone from the mail carrier to my child’s teacher. Gift cards are an easy gift option, as you can order them online or even run to your local grocery store to pick them up.
But all you savvy shoppers know that the best gift card is one that you purchased at less than face value, because a $100 gift card that you spent only $90 to get is a gift for the giver as well as the recipient! If you know where to look, you can grab some great gift card deals this time of year.
Every time I head to Costco I take a quick tour through the gift card section to see what is available, as their selection changes frequently. This time of year, Costco really increases its gift card offerings and lots of great deals can be found. Typically gift cards are discounted by 20-25% off face value. Recently I found a pack of four $25 gift cards to a local coffee shop for sale at Costco for $79.99. I picked that up right away and will make it part of the gift we give to my kids’ teachers.
I recently noticed that my grocery store added a Card Cash machine where you can turn in your unused and unwanted gift cards for cash. But did you know that you can also purchase gift cards from cardcash.com at up to 35% off? I didn’t!
A quick search of the website showed gift cards for Starbucks at 11% off, Ann Taylor at 25% off and Home Depot at 7% off. The discount percentage does fluctuate based on the gift cards they have available. In addition, since these are gift cards that others have submitted for cash, often the value of the gift card is an odd amount (like $89.14) because that is what was left on the card when the owner submitted it. Those odd amounts might not be ideal for gifts but if you search a bit you can certainly find a card with the amount you are looking to give. Plus, free shipping!
Grocery Store Deals
I love it when my grocery store runs gift card deals because it is super easy for me to pick up my gift cards while I’m at the store already. If your store has a “Gift Card Mall” or area where all the gift cards are displayed, check it out to see if there are any deals going on. Recently my grocery store offered a $10 off grocery coupon if you purchased $100 in gift cards. Usually these deals are limited to specific gift cards only, so make sure you check the details before you buy.
Merchant Gift Card Deals
The holiday season brings loads of gift card deals direct from merchants. Lettuce Entertain
You (the restaurant group that includes Big Bowl, Wildfire and many more) is again offering one of my favorite deals – buy $100 in gift cards and get a $25 dining certificate. For every $40 in gift cards you purchase at Children’s Place you will get a $10 off coupon. Boston Market is offering a $5 gift card for every $25 gift card purchased. These are great deals to take advantage of because they are a gift you can give, but you also get a little bonus as the giver - win-win!
These are just a few of the great deals that can be found this time of year. So, if you are in the market for some gift cards, do some digging before you buy so that you can snag yourself a great deal or two.