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Today I’m here to talk to you about free money, and you all know how I feel about free money. There are lots of ways to make and save money online and buying discounted gift cards is something you might never have considered. Note: You can also sell gift cards online if you receive some you won’t ever use. Looking at you, JCPenney and The Children’s Place. But I’m here to talk about buying. There are other sites out there, but I’m going to focus on the one we use the most- Raise.
What are discounted gift cards?
Just that. They’re gift cards that other people won’t use, so they sell them online at a discounted rate. You get to take advantage of their loss and scoop up the savings by buying gift cards people don’t want.
How do they work?
Sign up for Raise and shop their gift card inventory. Cards are divided out by category which makes for easy shopping, and cards advertise up-front how much of a discount they’re offering, upwards of 30%.
What kind of gift cards are included?
Anything you could imagine, from Airbnb to Zaxby’s. You can shop baby stuff, airlines, hotels, arts and crafts, books, restaurants, clothes, shoes, toys… you name it. We use our plasma debit cards to buy discounted gift cards on places we know we’ll spend- Walmart, McDonald’s, Sprouts… and we still use Ibotta and Checkout51 for grocery rebates for even more savings at our favorite stores.
Get $10 free for signing up for Ibotta!
Get $40 free toward your next adventure when you sign up for Airbnb!
What’s the usual discount?
Discounts differ, depending on the stock available and the popularity of the cards, and can be as high as 35% off. Travel and discount stores are typically < 10%, but restaurants, movie theaters, and clothing stores are often over 20%. And… individual sites often offer different promotions and sales to give you an even bigger discount. Like today, I saved an extra 5% for the McDonald’s card I ordered from Raise. We Warckens drink a lot of McD’s coffee on the road and they’re easy to justify when you buy 5 get 1 free + cash back and a discount!
But wait… there’s more!
OR… you could shop through an airline portal to earn miles and points for every dollar spent!
Note: You can’t earn cash back AND airline miles. You have to choose one or the other I’m afraid, and shop through the appropriate portal.
Get $10 free when you sign up for Ebates!
Get a free $5 gift card when you sign up for TopCashback!
What’s the catch?
The only catch so far has been a $25 Darden gift card that I tried to use at Red Lobster. Red Lobster is no longer a part of Darden, so the card wouldn’t work at the restaurant. The manager tried calling the number on the card to get it to go through, and while the card was active and fully loaded, there was no way to use it at Red Lobster. Thanking us for our patience and for our patronage, the manager gave us a $25 gift card to use toward our meal, and we got to keep the original card to use somewhere else, like Olive Garden or Longhorn Steakhouse. $25 free! Woohoo!
Gift cards are either physically shipped to your home for free, or are available immediately in the form of egift cards, which you can download to your phone or print.
What am I waiting for?
I don’t know! Buying discounted gift cards online is a great way to save on everyday purchases, and they make or buy great graduation/baby shower/birthday/Christmas gifts too! Oh, and they’re a super great way to meet minimum spends on new credit cards. They’re really a no-brainer!