Gift cards are one of the easiest gifts to pick up at the last second and are also extremely safe bets to make for everyone on your gift list. But just because a gift card has a certain value doesn’t mean that’s how much you have to pay. There are plenty of excellent resources online that offer discounted gift cards—both physical cards and digital. You just have to know where to look.
You have to be careful when looking at this sort of stuff though, as plenty of scam sites draw people in with the promise of absurdly cheap gift cards. At the end of the day, gift cards still represent money, and as such, there’s a limit on how much they can be discounted. All the card sites you’ll find on this list are safe, however.
Update, 4/8/22: Verified text and links updated.
This is where you’ll score the largest discounts; Card resellers do exactly what it says on the tin: resell gift cards. Users will sell these websites their unwanted gift cards and the websites then sell those cards back to consumers at discounted prices. It depends a lot on the website you use and the gift cards you’re looking at, but discounts can range anywhere from 5% to upwards of 30%. So let’s just go over a few of these websites and see which ones you should check out.
There are quite a few of these websites kicking around, but the main ones we recommend looking at are Giftcards.com, Cardpool, Raise, and CardCash. All of these offer gift cards from hundreds of different retailers at discounted prices—but Raise specifically has the largest selection. Gift Card Granny is also worth checking out, as this website has some discounts on cards and also has a reward program with cash-back bonuses for purchasing full-price cards.
The best part about these websites is the security they offer. You’re not just buying a card from some random person on the internet, as these sites have already dealt with the sellers so you don’t have to worry about that. And in the off chance you get an illegitimate card, all the websites we’ve mentioned above offer protections against that. They have a money back guarantee that enables you to return the card for a full refund with the lowest time frame being CardCash’s 45 days and the longest being Gift Card Granny’s “Lifetime Guarantee.”
When it comes to scoring gift cards on the cheap, these websites are your best option.
Stores like Sam’s Club and Costco are well-known for having discounted items thanks to their bulk nature, and the situation is no different with gift cards. We’re not talking crazy discounts here—oftentimes you’re only saving 5% to 10%—but it’s still worthwhile to check on these stores when card resellers don’t have what you’re looking for.
Obviously, a major disadvantage of Sam’s Club and Costco specifically is they both require memberships to purchase anything from them. The membership for either isn’t cheap ($45 a year or $60 a year for Sam’s Club and Costco, respectively), so purchasing cards from either store is only a worthwhile option if you’re already paying for the membership.
However, if you’re already a frequent customer of those stores or you visit a different bulk retailer regularly, then this is a great way to save a little bit of cash. It’s also worth keeping in mind that these are physical gift cards, so plan ahead if you need to ship it.
Any used marketplace (most notably, eBay) will have people trying to offload unwanted gift cards—sometimes at discounted prices. You can get some great deals through this method, but it’s not without its risks. Unlike the card resellers previously mentioned, you don’t have as much security here to protect against scams. eBay provides various protections for buyers, and if you’re paying through PayPal you can always turn to them to resolve the issue as a last resort.
It’s definitely still worth checking out used marketplaces for gift cards, just keep a close eye on the seller’s review score and make sure you have some form of refund option available in the case that it’s all a lie.
If you’re looking to save some money this holiday season, or any time you’re going to buying a gift card, the options presented here will certainly help out. After all, when you can save some money without skimping out on another person’s gift, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.