Best Sites for Buying Discounted Gift Cards

Photo (cc) by 401(K) 2012

Half of Americans say they’ve already planned out their holiday shopping and even set aside the money for this year’s gifts – and it’s no small chunk of change, according to a recent study.

The Accenture Holiday Shopping Survey found that we expect to spend an average of $582 on holiday shopping this season. More than 20 percent of us plan to exceed $750.

But what if you could get extra mileage out of your $582, or your $750? On top of what Black Friday and the usual holiday sales could save you?

Discount gift cards can do just that – for savings of up to 35 percent on top of sales, coupons, and other discounts. The only hitch is that you have to plan ahead: You need to figure out what gifts you’ll buy where and then start ordering gift cards for those stores now so they arrive before Black Friday and the height of the holiday shopping season.

But first determine which discount gift card website to buy from: Inventories constantly change, so you’ll want to check each website’s prices before each gift card purchase. Or use Gift Card Granny, which searches the prices of multiple websites at once.

You’ll also want to mind the fine print, but we’ve taken care of that step for you by comparing some of the most popular websites that sell discounted gift cards…

1. ABC Gift Cards

  • Stated savings: Up to 35 percent.
  • Brands/stores available: Not specified.
  • Shipping: Free.
  • Sales tax: Not specified.
  • Fees and expiration dates: Not specified.
  • Guarantee: “We extensively verify and validate every card we sell. If a card turns out to be a fraudulent card or if there is a balance discrepancy we will either replace the card or refund the purchase if a customer contacts us during our 45 Day Buyer Protection Period.”
  • Guarantee details: Valid for up to 45 days from the date of purchase. (See the “Goods Not As Described 45 Day Return Policy” section of their Terms & Conditions for more details.)
  • Return policy: They have a strict no-return policy unless the balance on the card you received didn’t reflect what you purchased, so you’re otherwise stuck with your purchase.

2. Cardpool

  • Stated savings: Up to 35 percent.
  • Brands/stores available: Not specified, but they carry physical and electronic gift cards. If they’re out of what you’re looking for, you can add it to your “Wishlist” and they’ll let you know when they get it back in stock.
  • Shipping: Free.
  • Sales tax: None.
  • Fees and expiration dates: “We exclusively carry hassle-free gift cards that have no fees and no expiration.”
  • Guarantee: “If you purchase any gift card from Cardpool, we guarantee it will be valid at the merchant and to the dollar amount specified on your order.”
  • Guarantee details: Valid for up to 100 days from the date of your purchase; covers up to $1,000 per customer. (See the “Purchase Guarantee” section of their Terms of Use for more details.)
  • Return policy: According to their guarantee, “If you are not satisfied with your Cardpool purchase for any reason, you may return your unused gift card for a full refund.” But the fine print says their return policy doesn’t apply to electronic gift cards, so you’re stuck with those. And the Terms of Use state that you can only return gift cards that are in the exact same condition (and value) you received them in.

3. GiftCardRescue.com

  • Stated savings: Up to 30 percent.
  • Brands/stores available: More than 250.
  • Shipping: Free. (But whether you choose free or expedited shipping, note that you must contact them immediately if you don’t receive your purchase within 10 days because they won’t investigate or refund claims after 10 days.)
  • Sales tax: Not specified.
  • Fees and expiration dates: Not specified.
  • Guarantee: “We will give you a full refund if: The gift card you received is not the card you purchased, or the value on the gift card you received is different from what was advertised or indicated at checkout.”
  • Guarantee details: Valid for up to 60 days from the date of purchase. (See the “Guarantee and Return Policy” section of their Terms & Conditions for more details.)
  • Return policy: They will not accept returns whatsoever after 60 days. And if the reason for your return is not covered by their guarantee, you’ll be charged a 10 percent restocking fee.

4. Plastic Jungle

  • Stated savings: Up to 35 percent.
  • Brands/stores available: More than 400, including physical and electronic gift cards (which they call “eCODES”). If they’re out of what you’re looking for, you can sign up for notifications, and they’ll let you know when they get it back in stock.
  • Shipping: Standard is free (5 to 7 days); priority (3 to 5 days) and express (1 to 3 days) will cost you.
  • Sales tax: Not specified.
  • Fees and expiration dates: “Gift cards on Plastic Jungle have no additional fees or expiration dates.”
  • Guarantee: “When you purchase any gift card from Plastic Jungle, we guarantee you will receive the gift card(s) within 3 weeks from the date of purchase, and the gift card(s) will be valid at the retailer for the dollar amount specified on your order.”
  • Guarantee details: Valid for up to 60 days from the date of purchase; covers up to $1,000 per customer. (See the “Buyer Guarantee” section of their Terms of Use for more details.)
  • Return policy: All sales are final, so unless your purchase failed to live up to their guarantee, you’re stuck with it.

Karla Bowsher covers consumer, retail, and health issues. If you have a comment, suggestion, or question, leave a comment or contact her at [email protected].

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021
3 Cable TV Companies Hiking Prices for 2021

Still married to your cable company? Hold on to your wallet!

7 Reasons You Should Consider a Career Change at 50
7 Reasons You Should Consider a Career Change at 50

Wondering how to change careers at 50, or if it’s possible at all? The good news is that many older workers have the energy and experience to pull it off.

21 Thrift Store Gems You Can Cash In On
21 Thrift Store Gems You Can Cash In On

Here’s what to look for at that overstuffed thrift store — and how you can make money from it.

Big-Ticket Things You Should Never Buy
Big-Ticket Things You Should Never Buy

In this week’s podcast: Are you wasting big money on these common purchases?

9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again
9 Foods You Should Never Buy Again

Make the wrong food choices, and you can ruin your health — and possibly shorten your life.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon
36 Things That Will Be Obsolete Soon

The writing is on the wall for dozens of things we have grown up with.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners
8 Federal Income Tax Breaks for Homeowners

Some of these deductions and credits are available to a wide swath of homeowners.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable
10 Types of Retirement Income That Are Not Taxable

There are lots of things Uncle Sam can’t touch — so long as you play by the rules.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.