February 6, 2012
A new option for meeting minimum credit card spend!
On Friday, I reported that one can save money almost anywhere by buying discounted gift cards prior to making purchases. In that post I mentioned that the folks at GiftCardGranny.com had supplied me data for a future post. Well, this is that post…
I asked GiftCardGranny.com to use their database to find the gift cards that retain their value the best. These are the cards with the smallest difference between the best discount purchase price and the best resale price. For example, if one could buy JC Penney gift cards for 80% of their value and then resell them for 77% of their value, that would be attractive because the buyer only risks losing 3% if they find they’re unable to use the gift cards.
GiftCardGranny.com aggregates gift card buy and sell prices from ABC Gift Cards, Cardpool, GiftCards.com, PlasticJungle, CouponTrade, GiftCardBin, and eBay. For my request, GiftCardGranny.com poured over 6 months of data to find the cards with the smallest difference between the average discounted purchase price and the maximum sell price. eBay data includes both “Buy It Now” and auction prices, but GiftCardGranny.com trims the outliers from the auction prices in order to prevent the auctions from unduly skewing the results. I further filtered the results to remove merchants with fewer than 20 gift cards represented in the dataset.
Incredibly, we discovered that the average discounted purchase price in some cases was lower than the best available resale price. In other words, it is sometimes possible to make money by buying and selling discount gift cards! For example, at the time of my writing this, there are a few Boston Market gift cards available for 30% off their face value. At the same time, GiftCards.com is offering 72% of face value to buy Boston Market gift cards from you. So, you can actually make 2% profit by buying and selling these cards.
So, without further ado, here is the top 20 best value gift cards:
- 24 Hour Fitness
- Dave and Busters
- Frontier Airlines
- Pei Wei
- Speedway Motors
- PGA Superstore
- Boston Market
- Abercrombie & Fitch
- TGI Friday’s
- Gulf Oil
Note that not all of these gift cards are always available at a good price (or at all). You can use GiftCardGranny.com to find the current best discount purchase price and the current best resale price for these cards. If the card you want is not available, sign up for email alerts to be notified when it is.
Obviously, if you shop at any of these merchants, it may be worthwhile to keep an eye out for these discounted gift cards. Another option is to try to make some money by buying and selling gift cards, but really you’re not going to get rich doing this. The real value, in my opinion, is for those of you struggling to meet minimum credit card spend in order to qualify for big signup bonuses. If you spend a couple of hours each week looking for cards that you can buy and sell for little or no loss, you may be able to meet minimum spend requirements without stretching your budget. Please note, though, that there are risks involved: individual buyers and sellers may try to swindle you; cards can get lost in the mail; clerical errors could mean that you do not get your gift cards or get paid properly; etc.
In some cases, when buying and selling gift cards, it is possible to get 1% to 3.5% cash back in the process! Here are some of the best deals I’ve found. Please let me know if you come across others:
- Through ShopAtHome, the following offers are available:
- CardPool.com offers .8% cash back for buying gift cards, and 1.6% cash back for selling gift cards!
- GiftCertificates.com offers 3% cash back for buying merchant gift cards.
- GiftCards.com offers 3.5% cash back for buying merchant gift cards.
- Through FatWallet, you can get 1% cash back for purchases made at PlasticJungle
- Through eBay, you always get 2% back in the form of eBay bucks.
Note: If you would like to signup for ShopAtHome, please consider using this signup link. You and I will both receive $5 towards our accounts. When asked for the email address for the friend who referred you, enter:
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