They have lately become the go-to gift for everyone on your list from nieces to piano teachers. Gift cards put the power in the hands of the receiver — and let you relax, knowing what you bought won't be regifted, returned or resented.
But the catch with gift cards is you can't get a deal. A $25 Tim Horton's card will cost you just that. Or will it? Here are a few little known secrets on how to get money for gift cards.
Swap It Up
You can take your own unused gift cards and swap them out for cash or other gift cards you really want — ones you can give away as gifts, for instance. CardSwap.ca offers such a service. As well, if you have old cards kicking around from last year that you are never going to use, mail them to the company and get points to buy more cards (Boston Pizza, The Bay and Old Navy are available) or get money back via PayPal.
Sell It For Cash
Received a card you're not crazy about? You can turn it instead into cold, hard cash. Sites like Gift Card Granny will buy your old gift cards for a percentage of their face value. For instance, an Apple card goes for 80%-83% of its original cost.
Buy It At A Bargain
Speaking of Gift Card Granny, this site acts as a clearing house to let you buy cards at a discount from other card selling sites (like $90 for a $100 Bed Bath and Beyond card, for instance!). Most online sources of discount gift cards offer a similar service. Just be sure the site offers Canadian dollar values and that, if you want a physical gift card for a gift, that's what you're getting — some sites just offer codes that you use at the checkout.
Meanwhile, some discount retailers offer reduced rate gift cards. Try Costco both in-store and online for cards the cost just 85% of their face value.
Bet On A Bust
The brand new site Kiind, which just launched out of Vancouver, offers gift cards that you only pay for when the recipient uses it. The site actually emails the receiver the gift code and reminds them to use it. When that person does purchase something, your credit card gets charged. Since many gift cards are never redeemed, you actually save money in the long run.
Many of these gift card providers have a charitable component. Schools often run campaigns selling gift cards, with proceeds going back to the school. Meanwhile, sites such as Kiind allow you to donate to charities directly.
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