Savings Tip: Buy Discounted Gift Cards

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

My husband and I have recently gotten into buying discounted gift cards. For the most part, we buy gift certificates from local restaurants we like via Recently, we scored a $25 gift certificate to our favorite Filipino restaurant, but paid only $12.50 for it. We were able to get a second $25 certificate to the same restaurant for $15. This find is very exciting to us, since it means discounted meals at a place that we would patronize anyway. (Etiquette note: The tip amount should be figured on the original meal price, not what you pay after applying a gift certificate.)

Turns out there is a whole world of discounted gift cards out there. It is possible to purchase discounted gift cards for entertainment, travel, clothing, food and just about anything else you can think of. For the savvy shopper, discounted gift cards can help increase the cost-efficiency of purchases, including those made with coupons.

Where to find discounted gift cards

It may seem a bit a far-fetched to think that you could get a $20 gift card to Best Buy for only $11.50, but it is important to consider where these cards come from. There are two main sources of discounted gift cards:

  1. Retailers themselves: Some retailers, like those at CityDeals, are looking for ways to lure more customers into their establishments. They know that if you have a gift certificate, you are likely to exceed the face value when you make purchases. Besides, if they can get new customers, there is a possibility that those customers will become repeat buyers.
  2. Individuals looking to unload certificates: Instead of forcing themselves to buy stuff they don’t want or need at stores they don’t like, many gift card recipients go online and sell their cards at a discounted rate. They didn’t have to pay $50 for that gift card, and they can get $40 cash money for it. You get a 20% discount on whatever you buy with the card (assuming you don’t go over the value).

There are a number of places online that offer access to discounted gift cards, including eBay and Craigslist, as well as sites set up for gift card exchanges, like, and Also, check with your favorite stores; many of them occasionally offer 10% to 30% of gift card purchases. You can also get multi-packs of discounted gift cards at warehouse stores like Cosco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club. There are also aggregators like that list what’s available from multiple sites so that you don’t have to spend as much time hunting around.

Be careful

As always, you do need to be careful. When buying a gift card from an individual through an auction, you are buying at your own risk. Additionally, some gift cards come with fees and expiration dates. Double check policies and restrictions before purchasing a discounted gift card to make sure that it doesn’t arrive with reduced value due to inactivity fees, and a couple of weeks away from its expiration.

As long as you are careful about your discounted gift cards, you can save a great deal of money. Just remember that this is a money saving strategy, so any gift certificates you buy on discount should be to places you would frequent even if you didn’t have a gift card.

Bonus Tip:

You can seriously cut your Internet and TV costs. Find a Verizon FiOS promotion code here and you might be able to spend less every month.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ben Hebert July 12, 2010 at 10:02 am

You can buy discount gift cards at many different places, giving you a wide variety very similar to plastic jungle.

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