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.
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