Ever Bought Discounted Gift Cards?

Ashley Grimaldo has agreed to live on discounted gift cards for the month of March. To me, that’s a challenging proposition, given that you have to spend quite a bit of money up front and attempt to live on it the remainder of the month. However, I do like the idea of buying a $50.00 gas card for $45 or so.

Anyone ever had experience buying discounted gift cards to spend on regular purchases later?

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  1. Frankly, that gift-card thing is one of the silliest “challenges” I’ve ever heard, considering how much money the blogger would save by just… you know… not eating at Chili’s so often. Leaving aside how much she could save by simply spending less, I have sincere doubts that she will actually save any money at all, because her stores will be pre-limited. It’s like the people who claim they’re saving money with coupons when the alternatives, purchased without coupons, are still cheaper.

    • This particular challenge isn’t for me, but I rarely pay full price for anything and part of my strategy is to use these discounted gift cards. You can use them at Walmart, the grocery store, Lands End, Kohls,and several other department stores. Admittedly, you can usually do better buying second hand, but if it’s a store you’re going to go into anyway, there’s very little inconvenience involved to save a few bucks.

  2. Groceries can be purchased at WalMart and Target. Gift cards from both stores are widely available on giftcardgranny.com.

    I won’t do the 30 day challenge, but I may hit up giftcardgranny.com to save money on planned purchases.

  3. I use them all the time. Our kids go to Catholic school and they call it “scrip.” For instance, $100 of Shop-Rite grocery store scrip will get you $3 off tuition.

    I also get the gift cards through my Amex and Discover Card points. Instead of taking the cash back, I recently just used $80 in Discover dollars and got a $100 gift card for Bed, Bath, and Beyond. We have two nieces getting married, they’re both registered there. Armed with two 20% percent off coupons, I went and bought each of them very nice bridal shower gifts, paying $2.27 in cash over my $100 gift card, which I got for free.

  4. Using gift cards is a really interesting idea. I can see how it could be helpful in several areas like groceries, eating out, entertainment, etc. Certainly something to consider for planned purchases.

  5. The 30 day challenge is definitely a bad idea, however I’ve used discounted gift cards plenty of times, specifically at places that I shop on a very regular basis (i.e. CVS), and many other times when I specifically wanted something at a well-known store. It doesn’t really benefit someone who decides to plan their purchases around gift cards that they find, but it does help for someone who is going to make a purchase regardless. There’s no reason not to get a 10% off that new sweater if it’s obtainable. Plus, you get that discount on tax too if you plan it well!

  6. Definitely worth noting that if you are keeping your credit card bill payed in full, it is one of the best ways to earn cash rewards (or airline miles), and it can also protect you from fraud. Using a debit card does not offer the same protection, nor the benefits.

  7. Where are you getting these discounted gift cards?

    I’ve heard that it’s a way of “laundering” stolen credit cards.

    Theives se a stolen card number to buy a gift card then sell it on ebay or craigslist.

    Unless you’re getting a discount from the retailer directly, I’d be worried that I’d be enabling criminals.

  8. I use Cardpool and Plastic Jungle all the time for my gift card purchases. It’s easy and takes no more effort than paying with a credit card. I use my cash back credit card to buy the gift cards. I am not hurting for money, but I hate leaving money on the table, so to speak. I enjoy doing this so much, I started blogging about it.

  9. I like the idea of buying gas cards.. I see no problem if it’s a regular purchase you always have to make anyway. It’s only problematic when it’s a department store gift card for example where you may be tempted to buy things you don’t really need.