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7 Money-Saving Gift Card Tricks Everyone Should Know

Gift cards
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Gift cards are a way of life in America. And if you know the right secrets, you can buy gift cards for less than you may realize is possible — not to mention getting them for free.

You can also make gift cards pay off to a greater degree than you likely realize.

Following are gift card hacks that every savvy shopper should know.

Buy gift cards at wholesale clubs

Discounted gift cards on display at a Costco
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Wholesale clubs sell certain gift cards at a discount. The selection tends to be broader around the holidays, but the following chains sell discounted gift cards year-round:

Buy Target gift cards in early December

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For years now, Target has sold its gift cards at a discount — 10% off — on the weekend after Cyber Monday.

Usually, you can’t buy Target gift cards for anywhere near that cheap, so this is easily the best time of year to buy them — whether you plan to gift them to others or spend them yourself for extra savings.

Buy and sell gift cards at discount gift card sites

Gift card
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Buying a gift card at a discount gift card website — such as Raise — is another great way to boost your savings, as you can buy gift cards for less than their face value.

You can also sell your unwanted gift cards at such sites, which are essentially platforms that enable folks with unwanted gift cards to sell them to savvy shoppers.

Buy restaurant gift cards in spring or fall

A group of friends eats a restaurant meal outside
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Each holiday season, scores of restaurants offer to give you free bonus gift cards when you buy a gift card at the regular price. That makes the holiday season of November and December the perfect time to stock up on these cards.

The weeks leading up to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and spring graduation season are also a good time to get a good deal.

Start looking for retail gift card deals in late November

Burlington gift card
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A lot more restaurant chains than retail chains offer free bonus cards with gift card purchases leading up to the holidays. But November and December are still the best time of year to look for these freebies, as well as discounts on gift cards, from retailers.

The best of these offers typically start around Black Friday and continue into the following week, known as Cyber Week. Some are available right up until Christmas. If you’re not sure where or how to start looking, note that Money Talks News partner DealNews compiles gift card deals.

Learn how score free gift cards

Costco gift card
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Yes, it’s possible — and often easy — to get gift cards for free. There are so many ways to do so, in fact, that it merits a story of its own. So to learn more, check out “12 Ways You Can Get Gift Cards for Free.”

Exchange gift cards for cash in some states

Woman with cash
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Several states have laws that require merchants to give you cash for the remaining balance on merchant-issued gift cards upon request, according to GiftCards.com.

Just note that the remaining gift card balance threshold — and other circumstances for cashing out gift cards — varies from state to state.

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