Gift cards are amazing. Especially during the holidays, they are a boon. Of course, we look forward to many things during holidays but getting a gift card is one of the most anticipated occurrences for many of us. People generally love them. Three things stand out for you if you really want to make it count.
- Your gift card doesn’t have to be one at a particular time
- It must be easy for you to use it
- You should anticipate getting a good deal from the gift card
So, what’s your gift card strategy? Read on to find ten great ideas to make your endeavor of finding and using gift cards a success.
10. Make sure you can re-sell it if not used by you
If you received a gift card, try to see if you can sell it in case you can’t use it. In the case that you’re also sending a gift card to someone else, always know that if the recipient doesn’t like it or simply doesn’t use it, you have the option to sell it. It is possible to sell it on a gift card exchange site or simply swap it with a friend or family member.
You may want to determine the possibility of this when you’re the one sending the gift card to a recipient. If you think that the gift card can’t be re-sold, it may just be good for you to send cash to the recipient. Cash gift also eliminates the worry of shipping fees if the gift card isn’t digital.
9. Check if a discount is available
Remember, the best gift cards can actually be bought for less than face value. It is wrong to assume that sales and savings don’t apply to the cards market. These are also more like a currency than retail products. If you search online, you can find good deals from the best gift card exchanges.
8. Recognize the difference between gift cards and prepaid cards
In some stores, you may see them next to each other. That usually makes people think that they are invariably the same thing. No, they are not.
- Gift cards are designed to be used until the original balance finishes
- Prepaid cards are reloadable. They serve the same purpose as a checking account with a debit card
A gift card gives more value to the recipient than a prepaid card that has fees associated with its use. It is said that an average gift card has almost ten fees associated with it, and if misused, it could cost the user up to $300 per year.
7. Beware of Loyalty Cards
Some cards may be acquired as a result of loyalty, reward, or promotional programs. Watch out, for they may not really be gift cards in the normal sense. They don’t expire quickly. They can last up to five years from the date of issuance. If that’s the case, always check cards given to you from a reward or loyalty program if the card has an expiry date, and when that will be. In some cases, prepaid cards are offered disguised as gift cards.
6. Find gift cards with rewards
To your delight, you will find that most credit card rewards programs allow you to redeem points or miles for cards. You may be able to use such gift cards from a wide variety of major retailers. Does it make sense to redeem these for cash? Yes, but you could get more value if you redeem them using a points redemption strategy than redeeming for cash.
5. Consider E-Gift cards
These are really valuable in a time of crisis. That’s probably one reason that they have been growing in acceptance in recent years. An increase in use seems to also border on mobile functionality. Those shoppers who can’t get up and get there to buy what they need because of a time crunch can rely on gift cards of this nature, as they could be used while they are in their pajamas. There are usually advantages attached to using e-gift cards.
- Avoid unnecessary shipping fees
- Avoid retailers charge for physical gift cards ordered online
4. Gift cards shouldn’t be an excuse to overspend
Most gift card users overspend when redeeming, they overshoot their cards’ face value. The same reason makes people spend more with credit cards than when they spend cash. It is usually a psychological issue. They may appear to be a means of subsidizing the cost of large purchases, but the user must be careful to avoid unnecessary expenses.
3. Card-Network gift cards
Those from top names such as Visa, MasterCard, or Discover could seem good as cash because they are popular and can be used in more places than the user can imagine, but these cards are actually inferior somewhat. Once you purchase them, these retailers make money; and when you make use of them these card-network cards also have fees attached to them. In this case, cash could be cheaper than a gift card.
2. Check out the unredeemed value
Gift cards old as five years are probably still having some value. Now is the time for you to tap into these unredeemed values. Do you want to unlock the value of an unused gift card? You have three options.
- You can sell unwanted gift cards for cash
- Most stores allow you to trade in old, unused cards for new ones
- Most states have programs that allow you to recoup unused funds from expired cards
1. Always try to know the best gift cards each year
It is best to know which gift cards are really worth it each year. WalletHub may be a good place to start. It often checks out the best cards scoring them to help you see which is the greatest. Often, the cards that have a 100-point scale are the best in use. You can also see that cards that don’t have a discount, resale, or store rating information have 0 points on the scale.
Granted, the most popular gift cards may not be famous forever. Check out how these cards have done over the years. It is also good to know which ones are popular among users. Those ones can lend themselves to discounts, resale, and store rating information.