When we started to buy and sell gift cards, we recognized immediately that this service could help customers meet their short and long term budget goals and hopefully help them eliminate their debt. With a little bit of advance planning and spending discipline, buying discounted gift cards can help you maximize your purchases within your planned budget amount. Here are some ideas:
- The great thing about using discounted gift cards for purchases is that merchants treat them as cash payments. So, one idea is to first establish your spend in each budget category, then purchase a discounted gift card for a store in that category for the budget amount and use that card to keep your spending on track for the month. When the gift card amount runs out – you know that you are at your budget maximum for that category and it is time to stop spending! As an example, you could purchase a discounted $100 Kroger gift card for your grocery purchases and use that for each month. Studies show that customers purchasing with credit spend 7% more than those purchasing with cash or gift cards!
- Gas stations treat your payment with gift cards as a cash purchase. The difference between the ‘credit’ gas price and the ‘cash’ gas price at the pump can often be as much as 3% more! So, take advantage of the cash price by taking your gift card into the store first and using it like cash. You will get 3% more than your credit purchase!
- Use coupons in addition to your discounted gift card to maximize your overall discount. Have a home improvement project? Here is one example: Currently Home Depot is matching competitor coupons up to 10% off. Currently Lowes is offering a 10% coupon for all single receipt purchases. First, go to Lowes and utilize that coupon for a purchase. Then, take that same coupon over to Home Depot where they will match the offer. Use discounted gift cards for both purchases! Your total discount double dips: 10% for the coupon and 10% for the gift card! Don’t have a competitor coupon? You are in luck, a quick search of eBay indicates many Lowe’s coupons available for purchase at a nominal fee!
- Did you know that utilities like Gas and Electric will accept payment on your account with pre-paid Visa and MasterCard gift cards? They do! Simply call their customer service and process the payment with a customer service agent over the phone. When you purchase the Visa and MasterCard through us at a discount you save 5% on your utility bills!
Do you have any ideas how to maximize the use of these cards to save money on your monthly budget? Please post them here!