Last month’s story about playing the gift card game may have seemed a bit silly and extreme, but learning to use gift cards as a means of payment can save you some serious cash, especially on large ticket items or at stores and restaurants you frequent often. As promised, here are some favorite ways to put a simple gift card to work for you.
Know your bank or credit card policies. Many banks and credit unions offer bonus offers and rewards on purchases. Often, this means making a gift card purchase can earn you additional bonuses and even gift cards.
Where to buy discounted Gift Cards:
Knowing where to look can be all it takes to save as much as 25% on your gift card purchase.
Costco and Sam’s Club both have discounted gift cards that can save you as much as 20% off. Look for them in the store, or you can purchase them online. Also, currently Sam’s Club is offering new members a free $5.00 Sam’s Club gift card and free rotisserie chicken for joining.
Discounted gift cards can be found in the “daily deal” section. These are limited, come and go without warning and sell out fast. They will often save you as much as 25% off. Locate them at http://deals.ebay.com/shop/gift-cards-deals
CardCash.com – This is a gift card exchange that sells a huge variety of gift cards. You’ll find everything from grocery gift cards to restaurants and department stores. Discounts depend on the gift card and can save you as much as 15%. Looking to unload a gift card you can’t use? CardCash will purchase your gift cards from you, too.
Stores with Gift Card Deals:
Many stores have rewards programs and bonuses that can get you additional savings on gift cards for their store, and sometimes other stores, too.
Smith’s often offers 4X fuel rewards on gift card purchases. The offer is typically valid on any gift card, except for a Smith’s store gift card, and usually has to be loaded digitally onto your Smith’s Shoppers card. Smith’s is also known for offering digital coupons for gift cards. For example, just a couple of weeks ago they had a digital coupon valid for $5.00 off a $20 Payless Shoes gift card.
Kohl’s has a program called Yes2Rewards where shoppers earn points with each purchase. The points will then automatically convert to Kohl’s gift cards. This great program is in addition to weeks when they have Kohl’s cash, and you don’t need a Kohl’s card to join the program. It’s free to join, and currently new members will receive a $5.00 Kohl’s reward just for signing up.
Target offers weekly sales specials where shoppers are rewarded with Target store gift cards for purchasing select products. Plus, if there are coupons for these products, you can use them when making your purchase. These additional savings can often make your products completely free, after considering the gift card. For a current list of which products have gift card promotions, visit www.totallytarget.com/gift-card-deals/
Now, just imagine: Purchase a Kohl’s gift card at Smith’s during a 4x fuel reward promotion, using your credit card that offers bonus points, then head to Kohl’s to make your purchase. Use the Kohl’s gift card you purchased at Smith’s and get Yes2Rewards Kohl’s credit. That’s what we call a triple dip. And, I haven’t even mentioned Kohl’s Cash or coupons!
Other stores that have great rewards programs are: Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Famous Footwear, Sears/Kmart, and JCPenney.
That’s my frugal wisdom for this month. Next month, I’ll share with you our favorite apps and websites that can bag you completely free gift cards, along with my idea of a fun, and frugal, date night.