The average American spends over $800 on Christmas gifts alone, a major expense for most families. Some end up paying credit card bills from the holidays for months afterward, and it can have a significant impact on their finances.
But you can stretch your holiday budget further and save money by simply using discounted gift cards to do your shopping.
Give secondhand gift cards as presents to loved ones, or use them to purchase items and give yourself an extra discount. You can even use cards to buy a holiday meal on sale or purchase home decor at a significant price reduction.
Where discount gift cards come from
According to CardCash, nearly 50 percent of consumers receive a gift card for the holidays. While cards are a common present, they’re not always used.
Well-meaning relatives buy cards without knowing the recipient’s interests and preferences, and in many cases, gift cards go unused and forgotten. In fact, the average American has about $100 in unused gift cards, says CardCash.
Consumers may not use the card because the store is too far away or the gifted amount isn’t enough to purchase an item in full. While you may want a new handbag, a $25 gift card to Coach or Michael Kors won’t come close to covering the purchase price.
Other people receive cards from employers or coworkers who may not understand their tastes. Whether it’s a vegetarian who gets credit to the local steakhouse or a camping-averse friend who gets a Cabela’s card, gift cards don’t always fit the recipient’s needs.
Rather than have the cards collect dust in a drawer, many people opt to get cash for their unused cards by selling them to resale sites. They may not get the card’s full value, but getting some money for a card that is otherwise useless to them is a smart move.
Sites offer between 60 to 95 percent of the gift card’s value, depending on the popularity of the retailer. They then resell them to consumers for less than the card’s worth. Using discount gift cards can help you maximize your holiday budget.
Where to buy discounted gift cards
There are many different sites that sell discount gift cards. Before purchasing, it makes sense to check for the same retailers on multiple sites to get the best deal.
Each of these sites offers buyer protection and guarantees every card, so you know stores will honor your purchase for its full amount. These resale sites buy the cards themselves and verify their authenticity before reselling.
If you spot a great deal, make sure you snatch it up. The bigger discounts of 20 percent or more tend to go quickly, so it pays to act fast.
Cardpool offers cards up to 35 percent off. Besides the regular department stores and specialty retailers, Cardpool also offers deals on airline and hotel credits. You can get 10 percent off a Four Seasons card for a luxurious getaway or score three percent off an American Airlines flight.
GiftCards.com has sold over eight million cards to retailers like Amazon, GameStop, and Bath & Body Works. Offering both plastic cards and electronic credits, you can use the discount gift cards as gifts or use them to buy needed items.
Save 11 percent at stores like Banana Republic, or pick up fishing supplies for Dad and get 15 percent off at Bass Pro Shops.
Gift Card Granny
Gift Card Granny is one of the largest discount gift card sites for both buying and selling cards. The site boasts discounts up to 59 percent on store credits to major retailers like Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Sephora, and more.
Deals are constantly changing, so it’s wise to check back often. Expect to score deals like 43 percent off 1-800-Flowers and 30 percent off movie tickets at AMC Theatres. If you have a favorite store, you can set up an alert and Gift Card Granny will send you a notification when a new card is listed.
Stretch your budget with discount gift cards
When you’re on a tight budget, every dollar counts. Whether you’re working on your shopping list or are trying to decorate your home without spending a lot of money, using a discounted gift card can help your money go farther.
Stretch your cash by using gift cards purchased for less than their value, allowing you to gift generously without wrecking your budget. Before you hit the malls this holiday season, check out these gift card resale sites to help you save money.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2018!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.97% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 6.30% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
APR stands for “Annual Percentage Rate.” Rates listed include a 0.25% EFT discount, for automatic payments made from a checking or savings account. Interest rates as of 11/8/2018. Rates subject to change.
Variable rate options consist of a range from 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term, 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term, 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term, 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term, or 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term, with no origination fees. APR is subject to increase after consummation. The variable interest rate will change on the first day of every month (“Change Date”) if the Current Index changes. The variable interest rates are based on a Current Index, which is the 1-month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) (currency in US dollars), as published on The Wall Street Journal’s website. The variable interest rates and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) will increase or decrease when the 1-month LIBOR index changes. The variable interest rates are calculated by adding a margin ranging from 0.98% to 3.80% for the 5-year term loan, 2.35% to 3.85% for the 7-year term loan, 2.40% to 3.90% for the 10-year term loan, 2.65% to 4.15% for the 15-year term loan, and 2.90% to 4.40% for the 20-year term loan, respectively, to the 1-month LIBOR index published on the 25th day of each month immediately preceding each “Change Date,” as defined above, rounded to two decimal places, with no origination fees. If the 25th day of the month is not a business day or is a US federal holiday, the reference date will be the most recent date preceding the 25th day of the month that is a business day. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 3.27% per year to 6.09% per year for a 5-year term would be from $180.89 to $193.75. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.64% per year to 6.14% per year for a 7-year term would be from $139.65 to $146.76. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.69% per year to 6.19% per year for a 10-year term would be from $104.56 to $111.98. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 4.94% per year to 6.44% per year for a 15-year term would be from $78.77 to $86.78. The monthly payment for a sample $10,000 loan at a range of 5.19% per year to 6.69% per year for a 20-year term would be from $67.05 to $75.68.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.28% effective October 10, 2018.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.47% – 6.99%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.47% – 6.30%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.51% – 8.09%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.02% – 6.44%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.69% – 7.21%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.79% – 8.39%6||Undergrad & Graduate|