Just in time for the holidays, there’s a new way to save money on gift cards — or anything you can buy with a gift card.
The discounted gift card marketplace Raise.com now sells gift cards at face value. These are new gift cards, rather than the secondhand gift cards Raise has traditionally sold. And Raise will reward you with what it calls “Raise Cash” just for buying new gift cards through the website.
You can earn up to 10 percent in Raise Cash every time you buy new gift cards. Then, you can use your accumulated Raise Cash rewards on future purchases from Raise.
So, in effect, buying gift cards through Raise Pay — that’s the new section of Raise’s website with new gift cards — enables you to get more for your money every time you buy a gift card for someone else or yourself.
Here are three examples of how this might work out:
- You want to give someone a $100 AMC Theatres gift card. You buy it through Raise Pay and earn 6 percent in Raise Cash. So, the next time you buy a gift card from Raise, you will get $6 off the cost of that card.
- You shop at Ulta Beauty often, so you buy a $100 Ulta gift card through Raise Pay and earn 5 percent in Raise Cash. You use the card on your own future Ulta purchases. The next time you buy a gift card from Raise, you’ll get $5 off the cost of that card.
- You use the streaming TV service Hulu, so you buy a $100 Hulu gift card through Raise Pay and earn 9 percent in Raise Cash. You use the card on your future Hulu bills. The next time you buy a gift card from Raise, you will get $9 off the cost of that card.
The savings don’t end there, though. Raise Cash enables you to buy future gift cards at a discount, so you will effectively save money on anything you buy with those future gift cards.
Let’s take the second example above, for instance. And let’s say you put that $5 in Raise Cash toward the purchase of a $25 Ulta gift card. You bought that gift card for 20 percent off, which means you will effectively save 20 percent on everything you buy with it.
How Raise Pay works
To buy a new gift card through Raise Pay, you basically just choose the gift card brand and denomination and click on the “Buy Now” button. New gift cards for more than 100 retail, restaurant and other brands are currently available.
After checkout, Raise will email you a bar code that you can use to redeem the gift card in stores or online. In other words, everything is electronic — so you won’t have to lug plastic gift cards around.
To give a gift card as a present, you enter the recipient’s name and email address and a brief message during checkout. Raise will then email the recipient directions for accessing the card.
Unsure which gift card to give your recipient? Check out “The 14 Best Gift Cards to Give for the Holidays.”
What is Raise.com anyway?
Raise.com has existed as a gift card marketplace since 2013. That basically means it’s an exchange — a website through which folks with unwanted gift cards can sell them for less than their face value.
Buying this sort of discounted gift card from an exchange like Raise or Cardpool.com is a great way to save money. You can score some steep discounts on cards and then use them to buy things you were going to buy anyway.
As with any other method of saving money, though, it’s not for everyone. That includes many people buying gift cards to give as presents. Gift cards sold on exchanges are technically “used” and often have odd denominations like $21.34.
That’s not the case with the new gift cards that Raise Pay sells, however. In fact, Raise Pay is basically a new way to save money.
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