I’m going to get paid to use a gift card.
Save money, earn money
I ran out of one of my favorite hair products recently. I decided to wait to replace it because Mom always sends me a Sephora GC for Christmas.
It’s not as though I have to look presentable for work every day, so I’d rather not pay out of pocket if I can help it.
Now that Christmas has come and gone, I’ve got a bunch of credit, which I’ll happily trade for some volume at my roots.
Take it from the experts
According to various stores on Ebates, there are stores that will give me cash back even though I won’t pay anything.
If you want to use a gift card when cash back shopping, be sure to check out the GC information. Ebates has restrictions information on the right side of the store’s page (the one that shows all coupons and offers).
Some will state that the use of gift cards are eligible. Others will explicitly forbid it. Anything else means that you’ll get cash back for anything you spend after applying a gift card.
It’s not quite that simple
Things do get a little more complicated than that, though. For example, what if your rebate doesn’t appear automatically in your account?
Well, if the store says that GCs are okay, Ebates will either offer you a courtesy credit or open a claim. Other sites tend to have blanket no-gift-card policies. You can ask them to open a claim for larger rebates, but you won’t get credit unless it’s approved by the store.
Companies need to make money, so they’re not going to give you credit immediately for larger rebates. They’ll want to open claims. And if those claims are denied for any reason, including gift cards, you won’t get a rebate.
In other words, if you want to shop at a store without a clear gift card policy, don’t risk a $20 rebate by using a $5 gift card.
Discount gift cards
Incidentally, you don’t have to wait for holidays or birthdays to take advantage of this situation. There are lots of sites that sell gift cards at great discounts: Raise, Cardpool, SaveYa and more.
It’s easy to find the best deal by going to Gift Card Granny and doing a search for the store in question. You can earn Gift Card Granny rewards by buying from certain sites.
However, if you’re buying from Cardpool or Raise, go through a cash back site. You can get 1% cash back at Raise through Mr. Rebates, Ebates and Dollar Dig. You can get 1% cash back at Cardpool only through Dollar Dig.
At one point, I got 1% cash back for buying on PETCO gift cards. The gift cards were discounted by 13% and I got cash back on the PETCO purchase. Amazing!
Thus far, I (or people I know) have gotten cash back using gift cards at:
- Barnes & Noble
- Old Navy (so that should apply to Gap & Banana Republic too)
- American Girl
- Sephora and Sears used to honor GCs, but I think it may have changed recently
And if you’re your going to try this, be sure to check out my post “The RIGHT way to shop for cash back.” Even seasoned cash back shoppers will find information they didn’t know.
Do you have experience with cash back sites and gift cards?
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