When I sit down and make my Christmas gift list each holiday season, I usually make two categories. The first one is for family and friends: my kids, my husband, my sister in Chicago, my BFF from college. Everyone on this list gets a thoughtful, individualized present that I spend hours picking out while sipping hot cocoa in front of my laptop.
The second list, though, is what I like to call my gift card list. This list is usually for acquaintances, like my co-workers, neighbors, teachers at my boys’ school. I want to express my thanks for them being in my life, of course, but I don’t have the time to really dive deep and get them personalized presents. So, gift cards it is!
During the holidays, the gift card list can be a wonderful thing for those of us on a budget because most of my favorite stores (and I’m guessing yours, too), offer gift card deals this time of year. You know the type: buy $100 in gift cards and get $25 free. In my world, you don’t look a free gift card horse in the mouth; I take advantage of these deals whenever and wherever I can! That particular free gift card deal isn’t the only one out there, though! And, if you’re on a budget like I am, it literally pays for you to know about all of them.
Christmas is a time of togetherness and sharing; when it comes to saving money on our holiday shopping, we’re all in this together! That’s why I want to share some of the best free gift card deals for the holidays with you so that you and yours can have as merry a time gifting everyone special in your lives as me and mine.
Gift Card Granny: One of the Best Gift Card Holiday Deals
Last year, my gift card holiday shopping list reached a record high of 17 people. My boys are growing up, which means their world now includes soccer coaches, multiple teachers, tutors, and carpool moms. And my sweet kiddos want to make sure our family shows all of those people how much we appreciate them.
While gift cards may not be the most personal gift, with a little thought, you can still make the recipient feel extra special—and stay on budget. My favorite way to do this is through a site called Gift Card Granny. Gift Card Granny actually buys unwanted gift cards from people and then sells them online at a discounted price.
Here are some of the deals I found the last time I looked, although the available deals do vary as cards are sold and new ones purchased:
- TJ Maxx: 8% off
- Whole Foods: 9% off
- Olive Garden: 14% off
Sephora: 17% off
Fandango: A whopping 21% off
That’s a pretty diverse set of offerings—and a diverse range of discounts. But, if you have 17 people on your gift card list like I do, saving those little percentages really adds up to big savings!
Costco and Sam’s Club for Deals on Christmas Gift Cards
I’ve heard rumors about other boy moms who are somehow raising three strapping young men without a membership to a warehouse store like Costco or Sam’s Club, but I’m still kind of skeptical that it’s possible. I know those types of stores are invaluable for our family, especially when it comes to making sure we have the mountains of snack foods we need to satisfy their infinite appetites!
Another area where our membership to a warehouse store helps out is during the holidays when it’s time to start checking people off of the gift card list. Costco and Sam’s Club sell gift cards in bulk at a discount rate the same way they sell cheese poofs in giant containers or 100-roll packs of toilet paper. In other words, you have to buy a lot of gift cards, sure, but you get them all at a discount. Think two $100 gift cards for $149.99. Deals like that are pretty common at warehouse stores.
Why Shopping Rewards Apps Offer the Best Deals to Earn Holiday Gift Cards
There comes a day each holiday shopping season when I look at my list and then at my budget and then back at my list in disbelief. It’s just part of the process; I’m sure you’ve been there, too! Luckily, there’s actually a way to get free gift card deals without spending any money at all or, at least, not more than you normally do when you go shopping.
Luckily, there’s actually a way to get free gift card deals without spending any money at all or, at least, not more than you normally do when you go shopping.
I’m talking about how Christmas shopping with smartphone apps can brighten your holidays. There are plenty of shopping rewards apps out there that will help you earn free gift cards for a wide range of activities, including taking surveys about your shopping experience, completing tasks such as taking photos of displays in stores, or for behaviors you do all the time, like buying products or even just walking into stores. You can even find free apps that pay you to grocery shop, which in my house means the never-ending work of feeding three hungry boys can add up to free gift cards for people on my holiday shopping list.
Of all the best gift card deals for the holidays, my personal favorite falls into this last category. It’s a shopping rewards app called Shopkick, and I actually use it year round to earn points, called kicks, cash them out, and start accumulating gift cards for Christmas presents. What’s especially nice about Shopkick is that it’s very user-friendly and fun. When you get awarded points for going to certain stores, scanning certain items, and making purchases, every shopping trip turns into a fun scavenger hunt that makes it easy to stick with Shopkick year round. Take it from me, there’s no better gift to give your budget this year!
Learn how you can start earning free gift cards for the holidays before your next trip down the grocery aisles. Download Shopkick’s free app and get ready to be wowed. Welcome to the fun, Shopkicker!
Image courtesy Milkos