Get It for Less: Gift Cards

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Editor’s Note: This piece is part of an ongoing series called “Get It for Less” that will appear every Wednesday on MainStreet, so check back for more shopping tips on your favorite products.

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — We know what you’re thinking: If you never see another gift card again it will be too soon. But if your friends and relatives didn’t get you a gift card to a store you actually like for the holidays, there are a couple of ways to save money when buying one for yourself.

Gift Card Trade-In Sites

There are several great websites that let consumers buy and sell used gift cards secondhand including GiftCardGranny.com and PlasticJungle.com. Both of these sites promise to pay close to face value for the amount left on the cards (up to 92% of the unused portion, to be precise) and resell gift cards for as much as half off the normal price. So not only can you quickly shed your unwanted gift cards from the holidays, but you can trade them in for cheaper gift cards you’ll actually use.

Shop at Big Box Stores

Secondhand sites aren’t the only ways you can get gift cards at a discount. Big box retailers like Costco and Sam’s Club offer plenty of gift cards and vouchers for well below the normal retail price. At Costco, for example, you can get $100 worth of gift cards to California Pizza Kitchen for $80. Sam’s Club’s deals aren’t quite as good, but you can still get a $50 iTunes gift card for $47. The only catch is that you need to already have a membership at each of these stores to take advantage of the deal.

Credit Card Rewards Points

If all else fails, there is always the option to use the points you may have earned with your credit card and redeem them for a gift card to a store of your choice. Not every card offers this option, but Chase, Capital One and Wells Fargo all offer cards that do. This way, you can pretend the gift card is really a gift that you didn’t have to pay for.

Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by email at Seth.Fiegerman@thestreet.com, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.

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