12 Clever Ways to Buy Discounted Gift Cards


Gift cards have been a great gift for many years.

And with the cost of living increasing over the past few years, more people are turning to gift cards as a budgeting tool.

However, one thing people who buy gift cards would love is to get them on sale.

You might think this is challenging or maybe even impossible.

But with a little effort, you can easily buy gift cards for less than face value.

In this article, I show you how to buy discounted gift cards.

These are the tricks I always use to save anywhere from 5% to 100% on gift cards.

How to Buy Discounted Gift Cards: 12 Ideas to Save Money

Look into Online Marketplaces

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A popular option when starting is to look into online sites that resell gift cards.

This includes Raise.com and Cardpool.

These sites buy unwanted gift cards from other people, verify they are legit, and then resell them to people who want the gift cards.

Not only can you be confident the gift card you are buying is real and has a balance, but you can also buy them for 5% to 15% off face value.

The exact amount you save depends on the popularity of the card.

For example, Amazon gift cards will have the smallest discount.

Still, this is a simple option for those needing a gift card right now.

Use Online Shopping Portals

If you don’t need a gift card right away, consider shopping online through a portal like Swagbucks.

With every purchase you make through the Swagbucks portal, you earn points (called SB) that you can redeem for cash or free gift cards.

They have hundreds of retailers with cards varying in amount from $5 to $100.

Sometimes, they even offer sales on some gift cards, saving you even more money.

Play Games Online

Another option is to earn gift cards by playing games online.

Many sites have you earn points for playing time or reaching new levels.

You can redeem these points for free gift cards.

In addition to its cashback feature, Swagbucks lets you earn points by playing games, watching videos, and more.

Redeem these points for gift cards.

This is just one example; many games pay real money in the form of cash or gift cards.

It all comes down to finding the most interesting game and making it a habit to play.

Use Shopping Apps

Here is an underrated trick I use all the time to get free gift cards.

There are many apps related to shopping where you earn points that you can turn into a gift card.

For example, with Receipt Hog, you scan your receipt and earn coins depending on the amount you spend.

You also earn bonus coins the longer you use the app and chances to earn additional coins.

You can then redeem these coins for Amazon or Visa gift cards.

Another option is Shopkick.

This app has you earn points for walking into certain stores, scanning bar codes, or buying certain products.

They have a handful of popular retailers to choose a card from when you have enough points.

These are my favorites.

There are other apps out there that pay you real money to check out if this idea interests you.

Complete Surveys

Many survey sites are out there looking for your input on various topics.

Once you complete the survey, you earn points to exchange for gift cards.

While this idea will not make you rich, there are ways to help you earn the most with your time.

I outline how I gamed the system in my best survey sites article.

I encourage you to read it so you can make the most of your time and effort.

If you would rather start earning, Survey Junkie, MyPoints, Branded Surveys, and Inbox Dollars are great starting points.

Use Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards is a simple way to buy discounted gift cards.

If you earn 2% on every purchase and buy a $100 gift card, you get it for $98.

The trick is to use the card with the highest cash back.

For me, this is my American Express Blue Cash Preferred card.

I earn 6% cash back at grocery stores, so for that same $100 gift card, I get $6 in cash back.

You could also do this if you have a Discover card.

Wait for grocery stores to be on the 5% cash back list and stock up.

Buy Gift Cards at Warehouse Clubs

If you are a member of a warehouse club, these stores are excellent places to get cheap gift cards.

BJs usually sell gift cards for around 5% less than face value.

If you pay attention, some have larger savings the more you buy.

For example, I recently bought Disney gift cards.

A $50 had a 5% discount, but the $150 card had a 7.5% discount.

Yes, some math is involved, but it is simple and worth the effort.

In addition to these clubs selling cards for a discount, they also sometimes offer sales, dropping the price even more.

Wait for the Holiday’s to Stock Up

how to get free gift cards
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Many retailers offer discounts or sales on gift cards during the holidays.

They do this because they know many gift cards go unused, so even if they sell a card at a discount, they essentially earn free money.

The best place I found for this trick is my grocery store.

Their loyalty program usually offers one point per dollar spent.

But during the holidays, they boost this to four points.

I stock up on gift cards during this time.

If I spend $500 on gift cards, I earn 2,000 points.

These points are linked to a local gas station, which earns me a discount on every gallon of gas I buy.

Buy One, Get One Retailer Promos

Occasionally, many retailers offer a deal when buying a gift card.

A popular option is to buy a $50 gift card and receive a free $10 gift card.

This is a great option when purchasing a gift for someone else, where you keep the $10 card.

Or, if it’s a store you shop at, it’s a great way to get a free $10.

Other Retail Sales

Pay attention to other sales that stores offer.

Target is well known for this; if you spend $50 on qualifying items, you get a $10 Target gift card.

It has proven so successful that many other stores now offer this deal.

You can learn about these deals when you walk into the store, on their apps, or by visiting their website.

Trade-In Programs

Do you have stuff lying around your house that you no longer use?

If you trade it into Amazon, you will get free Amazon gift cards.

They mostly look for electronics but take other items as well.

Target, Costco, Walmart, Staples, and Best Buy offer similar programs.

Be sure to read through the rules first and know that they usually want newer electronics, not your flip phone from 2002.

Look on eBay or Craigslist

Finally, you can look on eBay or Craigslist for people selling unwanted gift cards.

I put this idea last because it is ripe with scams, so you need to be very careful.

If the deal sounds too good to be true, then it usually is.

And because of how quickly technology is changing, I discourage most people doing this as you never know who you might get scammed, even when it looks legit.

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