Making the most of gift cards

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Making the most of gift cards

Gift cards are a go-to gift for every gift-giving occasion and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Whether you use gift cards as the actual gift or as a way to save money on your Valentine’s Day gifts and plans, here are tips for making the most of gift cards.

Stretching gift cards for Valentine’s Day:

  • Some restaurants, retailers and entertainment businesses, like Ruby Tuesday, are offering bonuses when you buy a gift card. These bonus gift cards are a perfect way to have a dual-purpose purchase. Buy a gift card for the Valentine’s Day date and give the bonus card with the promise of another date soon. Be sure to set that next date within the promotional bonus usage dates.

  • Use coupons with your gift cards. Even if you get a deal on your gift card, it is still treated like any gift card when you use it. Check sources such as for coupons and specific discounts to use for your gifts or evening plans.

  • Purchase a discounted gift card for florists, such as 1800Flowers, to bring down the total price of classic flowers and gifts.


How to get discounts on gift cards:

  • Use your Swagbucks. If you’ve been accumulating Swagbucks, it’s time to cash them in! Certain gift cards are even “on sale” right now, so you can get even more with your Swagbucks.

  • Don’t have enough Swagbucks yet? You can still save on gift cards by buying them from powered by Swagbucks. You get cash back on every card they offer. Plus, if you need a last minute Valentine’s Day gift, or you want to save on your Valentine’s date plans, you can usually find gift cards that are immediately printable so you can have it in-hand in minutes.

  • You can also buy discounted gift cards from companies like and Their gift cards are typically discounted between 5-20%, with some a bit lower and some even higher.


Protecting your gift card investment:

  • Make sure you protect your gift cards like cash. If they are lost or stolen, you usually have little recourse to recoup the money spent on them. However, some businesses will try to help you, as long as you have your gift card number and original purchase receipt.

  • Take a picture on your phone of the card number and any associated pin number in case you misplace it. You can usually still use the card online with just the numbers.

  • Standard retailer and restaurant gift cards typically have no fees or expiration dates. Read the fine print on the backs of the cards or online to make sure.

  • Some cards, such as prepaid Visas, DO have various fees, so be aware of those and how they can affect the card balance over time.

Written by Josh Elledge - Chief Executive Angel

Josh Elledge Consumer Savings Expert and Founder/Chief Executive Angel,®

Josh Elledge is on a mission to help Americans save money and time so they can give. He is Founder and Chief Executive Angel of®, which was created to bolster the buying power of the average U.S. family by combining technology, coupons and smart thinking for extreme savings on household consumables and everyday items.

Through his work with, Elledge has emerged as one of the nation's leading experts on consumer savings appearing in the media more than 2,000 times!


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