Nov 20 2016

Stacking discounted gift cards with cash back sites for extra savings

Here’s how I stack online deals to get the best discount possible. These maneuvers are not for the faint of heart. If you’re not up for these extra steps, then simply using a cash-back credit card, hitting Ebates or Swagbucks first, navigating to your shopping portal, and then searching for coupon codes will suffice. If you don’t want to do that, then … why are you reading this page?!
1. Grab your cash-back or best rewards card. I’m not chasing a sign-up bonus at the moment, so my go-to is a Visa from my bank that nets a 1.75% back on all purchases. (Note: If you’d like a link to the Southwest Premier card, let me know. I have one for 50,000 bonus miles).
2. Navigate to Swagbucks (where you already have an account, right?)
3. Click Shop, then to see the cash-back deals for your desired store. Via Swagbucks, you’ll earn 1% SB on your purchase, but some retailers have coupon codes and bonuses. This will be revealed on the “coupons & details” link. 
4. Click over to . New users, get $5 off here and note there are coupon codes available (these should appear on Swagbucks or Ebates).
5. Purchase a gift card of the amount you’ll need at So, say you’re buying a $25 something from Sephora. Get a gift card to Sephora for that exact amount or slightly less than, and pay the balance with your credit card. Sephora gift cards have an extra 5% off via Swagbucks when you use the coupon code. Apply all relevant coupon codes to your order, pay with best credit card, and obtain credit card rewards. That $25 value Sephora card with coupon code is $21.85 on Raise right now, plus 22 SB back. $0.38 cash back to my Visa.
6. Once your gift card is purchased, go back to Swagbucks or Ebates to see the best-case situation for cash-back/SB back and available coupon codes. Navigate to Sephora via the best portal. At this writing, it is Swagbucks, offering a 7% SB back to Ebates’ 4%. Choose a coupon code that fits your purchase.
7. Make your purchase using the newly obtained gift card from, supplementing with your credit card if needed.
8. Rinse and repeat for your online transactions to see the savings add up.
It’s true, it’s only a few dollars in this case. However, if you’re making a large purchase or spending a bit over time, it really does add up, especially with a killer coupon code. I did a similar strategy last year when buying Disney gift cards and the result saved me more than $300. Sure, it was some work, but my hourly rate was very high for the effort.
Last night, I used this strategy plus stacking coupon codes and cash-off codes to save on my Shutterfly photobook order. Finally got around to making photobooks of my last two trips. Um.
I’ve had good experiences with coupon codes, but just to be safe, I only purchase them immediately before I am going to complete my final transaction. I want the gift card on my account, spent, done.
How about you? Do you stack the savings like this? What’s your strategy?
*Affiliate links within, obviously

Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. 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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