Gift cards are becoming increasingly popular today. You can use them as a form of payment whenever you’re at restaurants, gas stations, retail stores, and others.
They’re usually given by friends or relatives but, sometimes, you may need to purchase them whenever you’re trying to reach a certain threshold for miles, points, or credit card bonus.
If you’ve been stacking too many gift cards for whatever reason and you don’t have any idea how to make the most out of them, you’ve come to the right place.
Tips on Maximizing Your Gift Cards
Letting your gift cards go to waste is a big no-no, especially if their prices are decent enough to allow you to buy something or pay for anything substantial.
Generally, Visa, Mastercard, or AMEX gift cards are never redundant as you can buy anything against these gift cards.
The same applies to Grocery or supermarket store gift cards, like Amazon, Walmart, etc.
My son received a few gift cards for his birthday from our friends. We really had a tough time getting rid of the “build a bear” gift card he got.
We had to make a day out plan in such a way that we visit a place near the mall which has a build a bear store.
Here are some tips that you can follow to maximize your gift cards:
If you’re not up to using the gift cards anytime soon, it’s better to give them to someone else as a gift instead of letting them expire.
If you know of any upcoming event or occasion among your circle of friends or family, it’s a good idea to go over your gift cards and pick one that’ll be perfect for the celebration.
Just make sure that the gift card is a general one.
A general gift card is flexible enough to be redeemed or used in most stores.
Be mindful of giving inappropriate gift cards to people who most likely won’t end up using them.
For example, if your gift cards are mostly from supermarkets or department stores, you wouldn’t want to give them to someone who doesn’t like shopping in those places.
Redeem Them and Get a Reward
If you’re not aware of it yet, some gift cards come with promotional offers where you can earn extra rewards upon redeeming them.
That means you can use the gift cards for any purpose that you want and, at the same time, earn rewards from using them.
Definitely like shooting two birds in one stone, right?
These free gift card rewards can include a variety of items that you can get as your compensation in exchange for using the gift cards.
The items depend on where the gift cards are from, but they’re typically similar to what the company or brand is offering.
Google Play, for instance, offers a reward system for their gift cards upon redemption.
You can get bonuses like an in-app item, a book, or a movie rental.
Sell Gift Cards You Don’t Want
If you’ve received too many gift cards in the past and you don’t plan on using most of them before expiration, it’s better to sell them instead.
You can ask your friends if they’re interested in buying gift cards at discounted prices.
If your friends or family aren’t up for it, there are several gift card exchange companies that buy gift cards.
They won’t buy the cards at full price, but at least you’ll get some money off of it.
Just try and look for a gift card exchange that can offer you an amount that’s closest to the full value of your gift card.
Sites like raise.com will buy your gift card online you’ll have to wash off with 5%-15% of the card face value in this route. So if you have absolutely no use of the gift card then use this route.
Use Them on Sale Items
If you like shopping, you can always wait for sale events and use your gift cards when paying for your purchase.
Most gift cards are eligible for use, even on sale items.
This will help you save money on purchases that you can actually use, may it be shoes, clothes, or something else that you want.
Sale events usually happen during major holidays, so watch out for that.
But be sure to also take into consideration the expiration date of your gift cards.
Make sure to use them sooner and not later than their expiration date.
Add More Money to Your Gift Cards to Purchase More Expensive Items
If your gift cards are running low on balance, you can always add more funds or money to them.
This is useful when you’re eyeing something a bit expensive for your budget.
Instead of paying for the full amount of the item, you can use your gift cards to pay for it.
Use Them Together with Coupons
Another way to make the most out of your gift cards is to use them together with coupons for your purchases.
You don’t even need to have physical coupons that you’d normally cut out from newspapers.
There are now a lot of online and electronic coupons that you can use instantly together with your gift cards.
Gift cards are already useful as they are. But as you can see, you can actually maximize their benefits even more if you know the tips and tricks to do so.
Don’t let your gift cards expire or lazily sit in your wallet.
There are several ways that you can consider to make the most out of them.
Use them, gift them, sell them—they’re gift cards that are as good as cash. Use them for what they’re intended for.