Santa Claus is coming to town, and you know what that means, right? ‘Tis the season to get gift cards (fa-la-la-la)! We hope you’re ready to learn some crazy awesome gift card hacks because we’ve got game-changers to share!
Whether you’re hoping Santa will bring you lots of gift cards this year, or you’re looking to do some last-minute shopping of your own, we’re here to help! From buying gift cards for less to trading them in, and everything in between, we’ve got hacks galore!
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If you’ve ever wondered where to buy the best gift cards or how to make the most of the $1.23 that’s left on that Target gift card from Aunt Susie, we have answers (and then some). Go ahead and bookmark this one. It’s time for gift card hack school!
5 GIFT CARD HACKS TO KNOW IF YOU’RE SHOPPING FOR ONE
Are you planning to buy gift cards for the teachers? Or your uncle Paul who owns everything? Keep these tips and tricks in mind!
CAN YOU BUY A GIFT CARD WITH A GIFT CARD?
This question has been flooding Google lately, so we figured we'd give it a go! The short answer? Sometimes. Here's the 4-1-1.
When it comes to buying a gift card with a gift card, there are no official rules. That means each store can set its own policies. Our best advice is to ask customer service before you head to the cash register!
WHERE IS THE BEST PLACE TO BUY GIFT CARDS?
Is there even such a thing as the best place to buy gift cards? Yes! Here are three of our faves:
- Gift Card Granny – If you're going to buy a gift card, you might as well earn cash back doing it! That's exactly what you can do when you shop with Gift Card Granny.
- Staples.com – You might not think to shop at an office supplies store for gifts but they have a HUGE selection of gift cards online, and they often run surprise sales of 10-20% off. It's worth checking out!
- Daily Deal Sites – Yep! You can often buy discount gift cards through your favorite daily deal sites.
The big takeaway here: you can easily find discounts on gift cards, so why pay full price if you don't need to? A little research will pay off big time!
KNOW WHEN TO BUY THEM
Here's a fun little tip: December is the all-time BEST month to buy restaurant gift cards! You can score a gift card of your own for free you when pick up that steakhouse gift card for Aunt Sally, so why not?!
BUY THEM IN BULK
Ready for another fun fact? You can buy gift cards in bulk! For one thing, it's nice to have an emergency stash on hand. Whether you like to give teacher gifts or send surprises for your friend's birthdays, it never hurts to have some gift cards on hand. For another thing, our good friends at Costco sell all sorts of gift cards at a discount!
SIGN UP FOR FETCH TO EARN FREE GIFT CARDS
Okay, you guys. One more quick tip! If you follow us on Instagram, you probably already know how much we love Fetch, but it's worth a reminder! If you download the totally FREE app called Fetch, you can earn points to use toward gift cards. Just shop as you normally would and watch those points roll in! We love redeeming those points for Amazon or restaurant gift cards (hello, date night!). If you're not using it, you should be. We rack up SO many Fetch points just grocery shopping. Find out how we do it! Be sure to use the code FUNCHEAPFREE for 2,000 points when you scan your first receipt!
THESE HACKS WILL HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OF THE GIFT CARDS YOU RECEIVE
What can you do if you get a gift card you just don't need? Whether you've got piles of Starbucks cards but you don't drink coffee or your sister-in-law forgot you're allergic to chocolate and hooked you up with a Godiva gift card, we've got some tips that will turn your tricks into treats!
TRADE UNWANTED GIFT CARDS AT TARGET
Little-known fact: most Target stores will let you swap your unwanted gift cards for a card you can use at another store. Just go to the electronics department to ask if they participate in the trade-in program. You won't get the full value back, but depending on the popularity of your gift card, you can get 75%-80% of the money back for another store of your choice! For example, a $25 Ulta gift card might get you $18 to use at Target instead.
DOWNLOAD THIS APP SO YOU NEVER LOSE A GIFT CARD AGAIN
Anyone else guilty of having the world's messiest purse? If you're not careful, those precious gift cards can go MIA! And is there anything sadder than losing free money?! Here's an easy solution: download the CardSmash app. It's free and SO easy to use. Just scan all your gift cards in when you receive them, and they'll store them in a virtual wallet for you. That way you'll have the barcode handy for in-store or online shopping. Oh, and they've got a version for Apple and Android!
GET CASH FOR LOW-BALANCE GIFT CARDS
Raise your hand if you've ever held on to a gift card with a $4 balance for WAY too long. We're all guilty of it, right? Here's the thing: if you cashed in allll those low balance cards you'd end up with more money in your pocket than you might think!
Some states (such as California) require stores to cash out gift card balances of less than $10, and if it's not required by law, most stores will honor the request if you ask. So, take that $3.32 balance gift card to Target and ask for your cash back. It's yours, so don't toss it!
UPCYCLE YOUR GIFT CARDS AFTER YOU’RE DONE SHOPPING
Okay, what happens if you've got a wallet full of no-balance gift cards? Before you toss them, check out these fun upcycling ideas:
- Make a Keychain – Calling all crafters! This super fun and easy idea is adorable. Turn your colorful gift cards into a keychain with the help of a hole punch. Make a hole for that keyring, and feel free to embellish with ribbons, beads, or other scrap supplies.
- Use Them as Receipt Organizers – If you still hang on to paper receipts, keep them organized with those old gift cards! They make the perfect dividers. Attach a sticky note label to the top of each gift card so you can organize by type (dining out, groceries, etc.). Recipe boxes make the pefect receipt holders!
- Make Coasters – Cut up those old gift cards, grab some cork, and reach for the hot glue gun! You can make beautiful mosaic style coasters for pennies.
If all else fails, empty gift cards make great toys for bigger kids! Add them to their pretend box for “online shopping” or cashier play.
DO YOU HAVE OTHER GIFT CARD HACKS TO SHARE?
Now that we've dished out some of our best tips and tricks, we'd love to hear yours!
Do you have any gift card hacks to share? Leave a comment below!
Want to check out more money-saving advice?
- Learn how to thrift shop online and save big bucks!
- Stop clipping coupons and learn how to save money the easy way.
- These rewards credit cards will help you score free groceries, gas, cash, and more!