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Gift cards are a great way to show someone you care. Whether you’re thinking of getting one for someone you know well or not so well, it can be a reliable option to ensure they get something they’d enjoy. Not only are gift cards a convenient way to send gifts, but they can also be used as a method to control spending.
There are many places online that provide discounted gift cards. However, sometimes, with discounted “anything,” there may be a catch. Here we’ve weeded out the businesses to avoid and present you with the best places online for discounted gift cards.
Before you decide whether a particular gift card discount is worth it, you’ll need some basic information. We thought it would be helpful to get the low down on the different types available, how they work, and potential extra fees. Therefore, just before we dive in, here are some factors for your consideration:
Single store gift cards are either physical (plastic) or electronic (e-gift). They are redeemable from the issuing store’s website, mobile apps, or physical stores. Amazon and Target gift cards are amongst some of the most popular single-store types.
There are no activation fees and typically no non-use fees or expiration dates. However, this may differ by state. These types are best when you’re confident of the recipient’s taste.
These types of gift cards offer a bit more flexibility than the single-store type. They can be used at any store under a chain of stores. For example, a “Gap Options gift card” is valid at any Gap brand website or physical store, including babyGap, Old Navy, and the Banana Republic.
As with single store cards, generally, there are no activation or non-use fees, nor are there cut-off dates though terms are subject to state. Again, it’s probably better to give this gift card when you know the recipient will enjoy shopping at the retailers on offer.
These types offer even more flexibility as they allow the recipient to create their own experience; there is no link between the merchants listed on the card. They feature a combination of restaurants, shopping, and entertainment options of up to seven stores. There are no activation fees, non-use fees, or expiration dates.
The multi-store cards are good, but when it comes to customizing one’s experience, the category of stores gift cards have got to be the “daddy.” With these types, one gets to customize their experience based on a category. These types of gift cards will be accepted anywhere that accepts Visa debit cards, as long as the business falls under the gift card category. For example, a “Dine Everywhere” card would allow them to use their card as payment at any restaurant or bar, with no brand limits.
However, this flexibility comes at a cost in the name of activation fees and non-use fees. Expiration dates may also apply.
If the stores’ gift card category is the “daddy” of experience customization, “Any Store” cards (Visa and Mastercard) may be the “daddy” of flexibility. They are essentially pre-loaded credit cards without the same restrictions that hold back other gift card types.
These bank-issued gift cards can be used almost anywhere including, grocery stores, street fairs, or to pay utility bills or parking notes. It doesn’t get better than that.
Again, with great flexibility comes even greater fees. The Any Store cards include activation charges, non-use fees, and expiration dates. Depending on the issuer and the amount loaded onto the card, its activation can cost between $3 to $6. Generally, a monthly non-use charge of approximately $5 will be deducted from the card until the amount is $0 if it’s not used at least once every 13 months.
We should dub this type the “daddy” of charges too!
Now let’s take at some of the best places online to purchase your discounted gift cards.
Giftcards.com is a leading gift card website. They aim to change the impersonal stigma of gift cards with the option to customize them using personal photos and messages. Currently, they offer up to 35% discount on gift cards across more than 100 well-known brand retailers.
Many people receive gift cards and have no interest in the merchants on offer. Consequently, these unwanted gift cards usually sit in a drawer until they expire or are forgotten. There’s no need for a gift to go to waste, though. CardCash buys unwanted gift cards to resell. Since CardCash acquires cards at a discounted price, they can resell them with up to 35% discounts. They supply both physical and printable e-cards, and their inventory is pretty wide-ranging, with almost every gift card and type on offer. If you have any unwanted gift cards, you can exchange them for the one you want via their platform. The value you receive will depend on the quantity and popularity of comparable gift cards available.
Gift Card Granny is positioned as the most trusted discount gift card site on the web – as well as the largest. If you want to buy or sell a gift card, you can rest assured that Gift Card Granny will ensure the outcome is legit. Gift Card Granny partners with other discount gift card merchants and companies.
The site is essentially a list of accumulated discounted gift cards, offering huge discounts of up to 59.9%. There you’ll find over 100,000 gift cards available and redeemable across over 1,000 retailers. GiftCardGranny.com doesn’t sell or ship the cards themselves. Instead, they connect sellers and buyers of discounted cards to the best deals from tons of gift card exchange websites. Purchasing a discount card from this site is easy.
If you want to look for a specific brand, select the one you want from the directory, then hit the “View Deal” button. You’ll then be re-directed to the third-party seller’s website to complete your purchase.
After purchasing a gift card, Granny’s part in the transaction is complete, and the seller handles delivery via their website. There you’ll have the option to choose the same delivery methods as other online gift card merchants – physically or virtually. If you’ve ordered an e-gift card, you’ll receive it by email either instantly or in minutes. By mail, it can take anywhere from two to five business days via USPS. Time may vary from vendor to vendor.
CardKangaroo.com is similar to GiftCardGranny.com as it’s a huge marketplace to sell, exchange, or buy new discounted gift cards. Once you create a free account, you’ll have access to over a hundred different retailers and save up to 35% on top-selling stores, including Bed, Bath, & Beyond, and iTunes.
Like most gift card providers, they offer physical and virtual cards. They also have a flexible return policy for physical cards, allowing you up to 100 days from the purchase date to receive a full refund – up to a $500 maximum per customer.
Gameflip Market is a popular online store catering to esports fans and gaming audiences. There you can buy and sell games, gift cards, and other digital products. They offer discounted cards for subscription services like PSN, Xbox Live, Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, and you can even find cards for Microsoft Office products.
Gameflip Market has a loyal following of more than five million people worldwide, with visitors conduct transactions in the millions each month. Purchasing a gift card on the Gameflip website or app is easy and secure. Once you’ve found the card you want, select it to view the complete listing. Information such as the seller’s ratings and how you’d like to receive the card will display, the initial amount on the card, and the discount amount.
You can even request more information from the seller before purchasing. To go ahead with the purchase, select the payment method, fill in your shipping info, and that’s it. The “Gameflip Guarantee” ensures that cards are priced at 2% or 15% off the initial amount and that your purchase is protected in case something goes wrong. Once you’ve paid, Gameflip holds your payment until after you’ve inspected it; then, to confirm you’re happy, click the “Complete Transaction” option. Only then is your money released to the seller.
Cardflip.com is another discounted gift card exchange platform with cards for most of the top brands. They buy gift cards in bulk to sell them at discounts of up to 25% for places like the Disney Store to Dunkin’ Donuts. Like other gift card platforms, your gift cards can be delivered to you via mail or email.
Cardflip accepts various payment methods like credit cards, direct bank transfers, and Bitcoin. Additional discounts are applied when you pay using Bitcoin or direct transfers. Their business hours are from Monday-Saturday 9 AM to 6 PM (PST) and Sunday 12 PM to 4 PM (PST).
If you purchase your gift card from them during business hours, it’s processed within two hours. However, if purchased after business hours, the order is processed the next day. Physical cards are sent via USPS with tracking. When purchasing your card for the first time, you’ll need to provide proof of your billing address, but this is easily remedied with an ID and a matching billing address.
Costco is one of the largest retailers in the world. They’re a chain of wholesale clubs that sell bulk amounts of goods at discounted prices to club members who pay for an annual membership. They also sell gift cards at a discounted rate for various travel, restaurants, and fitness centers.
However, there’s one slight catch to Costco’s gift cards. If you want to take advantage of their discount, you need to buy the gift cards in bulk. For example, you’ll need to spend $79.99 to pay for four $25 worth of gift cards. Also, purchasing a gift card requires a Costco membership. To top it off, you can only get a Costco gift card from Costco.
You may get lucky and find a Costco gift card on Amazon or eBay; but, there are likely to be additional fees involved. The good news is that you don’t need to be a member to redeem the card, so the idea of buying it as a gift for someone isn’t lost. The gift cards are available from $25 to $1,000. They are redeemable in physical Costco stores or on their website; however, you can’t exchange them for cash. Aside from merchandise, you can also redeem gift cards at Costco gas stations.
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