Sep 04 2015

How to use discounted gift cards to save even more on your online purchases

Comments Off on How to use discounted gift cards to save even more on your online purchases

I know most of you already are diligent with your Ebates and Swagbucks and checking for coupon codes before doing any online purchases, but did you know you can take your savings to a new level?

I have been using Raise to purchase discounted online gift cards to add to my savings. Let me show you how:

  1. Start at Swagbucks or Ebates to see the best cash back/points back on a Raise.com gift card purchase. I have seen 1-2% back at either location lately.
  2. From either portal, click through to Raise.com (here is a starter $5 for you!). Note that if you are using an ad blocker, it might interfere with the tracking cookie, so disable it for Ebates or Swagbucks.
  3. On Raise, search for a gift card of choice. Let’s say you would like to shop at Target.com. I have seen Target gift cards for sale up to 6-7% off. Purchase a gift card in an amount that makes sense for your purchase so you don’t have an extra balance laying around. Pay for your Target gift card using a rewards-generating credit card. Right now, I am using a Southwest credit card to rack up miles, but sometimes I use a card that gives me 1.75% cash back. (The Southwest card link is good for 50,000 points when you spend $2k in 3 months. Without the link, the bonus is only 25,000 points right now. There is an annual fee with this card. More fine print at the link)
  4. Your e-gift card code typically will show up in your Raise account a few minutes later. Sometimes it takes a little longer.
  5. Navigate on back to Ebates (at publication, giving 2% back) or Swagbucks (at publication, giving 1SB per dollar spent) and then using either portal, click through to Target.com.
  6. Add your purchase to your cart. If you have a Target RedCard, be sure to check that tickbox as default payment, but do not pay with your RedCard! Pay with your gift card purchased on Raise, and you still get 5% off! WHAT!
  7. Done. Yay!

A few hoops to jump through, but in this example, let’s say we are planning to purchase something that is an even $100 on Target.com. Let me show you what these hoops will net you.

  1. If you have a Target RedCard, you’d need a gift card with a $95 value to make a $100 purchase. Purchasing a $95 value Target gift card on Raise for say, 5% off plus a $5 off code is $85.25 out of pocket.
  2. Tack on a 1% SB bonus for your Raise purchase (so, 85 SB to your account)
  3. Then say you are getting 1.75% cash back on your credit card. That’s $1.49 back on a $90 purchase.
  4. If you get 2% back from Ebates on your Target purchase, there is $1.90 in your Ebates account.

So…you bought a $100 item (maybe it was on sale and you had a coupon code or something to sweeten it further!) and with the gift card, credit card rewards and cash back from online portals, you are out roughly $80 (I’m not sure how to value SB in money so I sorta guessed). $20 off. TWENTY PERCENT OFF and that’s not factoring in sales/coupons/etc on Target.com.

This scenario applies to other retailers too of course — a quick look is showing me:

  • Macy’s gift cards on Raise going for 10% off (and 6% back on Ebates);
  • 16.9% off a JCPenney gift card at Raise and 6% back at Ebates;
  • 7% off a Kohl’s gift card at Raise and 6% off at Ebates
  • … many more retailers

Be sure if you are doing an online purchase that you are purchasing an e-giftcard that is good for online purchases. Some cards are physical cards, and some are good in-store only. The fine print will spell it out.

Questions? Get in touch. Let me know how much you saved.

(Probably goes without saying but YES there are affiliate links in this post! At no extra cost to you if you don’t already have an account with the places I have mentioned, I would get a reward and you might get a sign-up bonus, or just sweet discounts when you use it. Thanks!)


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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife to Shane and mother to Jonathan (7), Vivienne (5) and Amelia (2) . I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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