If you want to spend less on something you’re already going to purchase, discounted gift cards are an easy way to save money at your favorite stores.
You can buy unwanted gift certificates for less than face value on several websites. It’s possible to save up to 30 percent at many stores and restaurants.
Here are some of the best places to buy cheap gift cards online from national brands and local merchants.
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What Are the Best Sites to Buy Discounted Gift Cards?
There are two options when buying reduced-cost gift cards, including platforms that let you buy them at a discount and ones that let you exchange cards.
Here are the best places to buy gift cards without having to pay full price.
1. Gift Card Outlets
Gift Card Outlets is one of the best platforms to save money on gift certificates. The site offers discounted gift cards from over 700 brands.
This is a website where people can sell their unwanted gift cards for cash, and others can purchase them at a discount. Some of the merchants listed on their site include Dairy Queen, Home Depot, and Massage Envy.
Buyers receive a 60-day guarantee on all items they purchase when they aren’t as described. For example, you may need to file a claim if there is an inaccurate balance or the physical card doesn’t work at the merchant.
Additionally, new customers can enjoy a one percent discount on their first purchase.
Raise is a gift card reseller offering both physical and electronic gift cards for over 4,000 popular retailers. Some stores offer discounts of up to 30 percent.
Before buying a card, read the retailer’s terms and conditions to avoid accidentally purchasing a card you can’t use. For example, some cards are only redeemable online.
This platform offers several benefits, including:
- One-year money-back guarantee: Get a refund if your card arrives inactive, doesn’t have an accurate balance, or the seller doesn’t deliver your card.
- Raise Cash rewards: Earn Raise Cash to redeem on future purchases when you buy gift cards at full price.
- Gift bonus: Receive up to ten percent in Raise Cash rewards when you buy a card and gift it to a friend by email.
- Online coupons: Redeem coupons and promo codes to receive discounts at popular stores.
- Referral bonus: Receive a $5 Raise Cash bonus for each friend that you refer.
These benefits, such as the one-year money-back guarantee and the expansive catalog, make Raise one of the best places to buy gift cards.
You can also sell your gift cards. The service verifies your balance, and you can set the selling price. When it sells, you receive payment via direct deposit, PayPal, paper check, or store credit.
Buyers don’t pay any fees, but Raise collects a 15 percent sales commission for digital cards. Physical cards also incur a listing fee of either $2.75 or one percent of the card value, whichever is higher.
RebatesMe is a cash back website that also offers gift cards from approximately 200 stores and restaurants.
Technically, you’ll pay full price for the gift card, but you’ll get cash back to use for future gift card purchases. The amount of cash back varies for each retailer, but it can be a good way to save money while buying gift cards.
This approach makes it the best place to buy gift cards if you are looking for a unique way to cut costs.
Some of the types of gift cards you can buy include:
- Clothing stores
- Shoe stores
- Home improvement stores
- Pet stores
You can also earn cash back by shopping at most online stores. Your redemption options are gift cards, PayPal, and credit card purchase credits with a minimum balance of $10.
New members can earn a $10 signup bonus by making at least $25 in qualifying merchandise purchases. However, buying gift cards doesn’t count toward the minimum.
Groupon often lets you buy gift certificates from different retailers or restaurants. Like other services it sells, you can purchase gift cards at a discount.
However, they also offer plenty of other great deals for local businesses. While the offers may not technically be gift cards, they still provide a substantial bang for your buck compared to regular prices.
Receiving a discount on physical items that online retailers mail to you is also possible. Some examples include beauty items, clothing, and home decor.
The platform can even help you save money on hotels and experiences. Additionally, Groupon+ members can get up to eight percent back at participating restaurants.
There are no buyer fees. If you own a small business, you can sign up to be a Groupon merchant for free.
Make sure to check out other discount sites like Groupon to find more opportunities to save money.
LivingSocial has the same parent company as Groupon but provides different deals and has no buyer fees.
Most offers help you save money on purchases and experiences that are already part of your spending plan.
Some of the potential great deals include:
- Oil changes
- Sam’s Club memberships
- Movie tickets
- Streaming plans
If you don’t find what you’re looking for on Groupon, LivingSocial is a good alternative.
Costco is a terrific place to find items for less, including gift cards on sale. This warehouse store lets you buy reduced-price cards at the store or online for many brands.
The discount will vary by merchant, but you can expect to see savings of up to 20 percent. Additionally, the minimum purchase requirement is between $50 and $100.
Sometimes there are deeply discounted gift cards, but those will vary based on the store and the current offers available. You can also look for specials online.
Discounts can be available for these categories:
- Gaming codes
- Retail stores
When you buy online, you will receive the gift code by email within a few minutes.
Despite the warehouse club’s generous return policy for merchandise, gift card purchases are usually non-refundable unless you experience redemption errors.
You do need to be a Costco member to shop in-store and online. Sam’s Club is similar. Read our Costco vs. Sam’s Club analysis to see how the two stores compare.
An annual membership starts at $60. In addition to being able to get cheap gift cards, the membership could be worth it since you can save money on everyday items, insurance, and gas for your car.
7. Gift Card Granny
Gift Card Granny partners with merchants who sell e-gift cards and physical cards at face value.
Unfortunately, you won’t get an upfront discount, but participating national brands award cash back.
Plan on earning ten percent back. A $25 purchase nets $0.25 and spending $100 yields $1. This cash back rate can be higher than the asking price for discounted cards on competing platforms.
You can redeem your balance for gift card rewards with a $5 balance. Waiting until you have $10 means you can request a check.
It’s also possible to earn cash rewards by reading sponsored emails and referring friends. There are no fees to purchase virtual cards, but you pay to ship physical ones.
The service also offers personalized Visa and Mastercard cash cards for a fee. Your exact cost depends on which customization features you choose.
Unfortunately, this site doesn’t let people sell cards.
CardCash is one of the best discount gift card websites since you can discover additional markdowns with their twice-weekly email list.
There are no fees to buy gift cards, and you receive them digitally. For some brands, you will receive a physical card instead.
All sales are final, but you have a 45-day money-back guarantee if you encounter troubles.
You can also sell or trade gift cards on the platform. It’s possible to get up to 92 percent of the card’s face value as payment by direct deposit, check, or PayPal.
Trading your gift cards for other brands lets you enjoy a trade-in bonus worth up to 11 percent. For example, a $35 gift card may score you $29 in cash or $32 in trade-in credit.
Yes, eBay is an option to find a deal when traditional gift card exchange websites don’t work for you. It’s possible to find savings when other sites may only sell your desired card for full price.
Sellers can advertise their discounted gift cards at a fixed price or via an online auction. Pay attention to the delivery method and any potential shipping fees.
Unfortunately, eBay’s buyer protection policy may not be as strong as other platforms on this list. You can report fraudulent purchases and potentially get a refund, but the dispute process can require more effort on your part.
Only buying from sellers with many positive ratings can help you avoid scams.
It’s also possible to sell gift cards for any brand and potentially get a higher price. Your eBay selling fees are approximately 13 percent.
One reason to consider eBay is to sell Amazon gift cards. Most resale sites only accept this retailer’s cards from trusted sellers.
Read our guide on bidding sites like eBay to learn more.
MyGiftCardsPlus is another excellent platform to save money on purchases by getting gift cards first. It offers up to 30 percent cash back on gift card purchases. You can redeem your points for free gift cards.
To earn points, you will need to create a free account through the Swagbucks get-paid-to site. You can also earn points by shopping online, taking surveys, and playing games, among other tasks.
The rewards program lets you start redeeming your balance for gift cards or PayPal cash with a minimum $5 balance, although Amazon gift card payouts start at three dollars.
Since you’re buying cards directly from merchants instead of individuals, there is minimal chance of fraud or having to spend time requesting a refund.
This platform doesn’t support selling or trading gift cards.
11. Card Flip
Like other discount gift card websites, Card Flip lets you save up to 40 percent at stores and restaurants. Most offerings have an approximate savings of 13 percent.
There are no buying fees or selling fees. Shipping for physical cards is free.
Your purchases have a 45-day protection period against fraudulent sales and inaccurate balances.
Sellers can receive up to 92 percent of the card’s balance. Payment options include direct deposit, check, bank wire, or Bitcoin.
Paying with Bitcoin or direct bank withdrawals lets buyers get a three percent discount on single orders exceeding $500. Other periodic discounts are available to email subscribers.
What to Know About Getting Discounted Gift Cards Online
Getting discounted or free gift cards is a terrific way to save some cash. However, there are a few things you need to know about a site that sells gift cards at a discount.
How Do You Get the Gift Card?
You typically have two choices to receive your gift certificate. These include:
- Digital cards sent via email
- Physical cards sent via regular mail
Some vendors may also offer the option to print off the gift certificate for in-store or online use.
Keep the type of card you get in mind, especially if you’re giving the gift card as a present. Digital cards are typically free, and you can receive them within 24 hours.
On the other hand, physical gift cards have delays due to mailing. You may also pay a fee to process your purchase.
There is the potential for fraud when buying discounted gift cards. That’s why many resellers offer some sort of guarantee on the cards they sell.
Make sure you investigate any guarantees offered by resellers and use the gift card balances in full before the guarantee expires.
Most gift card resellers offer protection periods between 45 days and 12 months. Raise guarantees your purchase for one year.
Some fraudsters that sell gift cards to discount gift card reseller websites are smart and wait until the guarantee expires to empty the gift card’s balance.
If you leave a balance on a gift card after the guarantee expires and the balance disappears, you have no recourse and will lose the remaining balance.
Know the Redemption Policies
Whether you buy at a discount or pay full price, it’s essential to know the redemption policies of the specific retailer. The last thing you want is to buy or receive a gift certificate and have problems redeeming it.
The best course of action is to check the redemption policies directly with the retailer.
Some may have a limited window, while others may not allow you to redeem discount gift cards online. Many of the above platforms let you see their redemption terms, though some may not.
Additionally, you can usually redeem them along with in-store sales or online promo codes.
The best way to protect yourself is to go directly to the retailer to see what they allow for redemption.
What Kind of Retailers Offer Gift Cards?
Countless retailers offer gift cards, so there are plenty of opportunities for savings. You can get discounted gift cards for many popular brands, such as:
- Amazon (here’s how to earn free Amazon gift cards)
- Disney Store
- Old Navy
- Best Buy
It’s even possible to get Starbucks gift cards on many platforms.
Finding discounted cards for any of the above retailers is a great way to save money on items or services you were already planning on buying.
Regardless of where you purchase, it’s essential to do your due diligence when buying discounted gift cards online. It’s important to compare guarantees and prices to find the best place to get the ones you want.
You may find that one website offers the best price for Walmart gift cards while another offers the best price for Target gift cards.
If the savings are significant enough, ordering the gift certificates separately may make sense. However, if the savings are just a few pennies, save yourself the trouble and order from one site.
What are other ways you like to save on everyday purchases?
I’m John Schmoll, a former stockbroker, MBA-grad, published finance writer, and founder of Frugal Rules.
As a veteran of the financial services industry, I’ve worked as a mutual fund administrator, banker, and stockbroker and was Series 7 and 63-licensed, but I left all that behind in 2012 to help people learn how to manage their money.
My goal is to help you gain the knowledge you need to become financially independent with personally-tested financial tools and money-saving solutions.