Do you sell $10 gift cards? Great, I'll take 50, and I can pay you $490.
September 30, 2010 10:39 AM   Subscribe

Is there a site where I can mass-order small restaurant gift cards, preferably with some financial advantage?

I love limiting my spending using prepaid gift cards, and I love even more when there's an opportunity to benefit financially by using gift cards. For example, a lot of restaurants in my area will give you a free $5 gift card if you buy a $25 gift card during the holidays. I always take advantage of these offers, and then just use both cards myself. I mean, hey, it's free money!

I recently became familiar with, an online bank that allows you to "withdrawl" money as gift cards, with a cash bonus. When you use your savings deposit to buy a gift card, you they will add a small percentage to the value of the card. So a $100 deposit could net you, say, a $105 gift card.

I really like this idea, but I came to realize that I'd like a more powerful gift card buying program, with similar benefits.

Specifically, I'd like to be able to:
  • Buy gift cards for restaurants as well as for retail establishments, (SmartyPig's gift cards seem to be mostly retail store cards). Failing that, I'd like to be able to buy something like a Visa gift card or similar card that could be used at a restuarant.
  • Buy lots of cards in small quantities (ie. 20 $10 cards instead of 1 $200 card).
  • Be able to buy cards without having to first deposit money and wait for it to clear (more like a gift-card e-commerce site than a bank)
  • Buy cards at no more than their face value, and preferably for less. I understand I may not find another company like SmartyPig that allows be to buy cards for less than their value. But at the very least, I'd like to avoid having to pay per-card fees, or expensive shipping charges
I'm aware that there are some gift card exchange sites out there, although I've never used them. But I'd prefer a solution that let's me buy as what/when I want, instead of counting on whatever's available at the time.

Does this dream "gift card emporium" exist?
posted by Vorteks to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Costco sells gift cards (at a discount) both in-store and online. (The selection differs in store and online; I've seen gift cards for Ruth Chris, Starbucks, etc., instore).
posted by Comrade_robot at 10:49 AM on September 30, 2010 is running a 90% off sale for today only. They have kind of limited selection of restaurants and I often cross-check the reviews with Yelp if I'm unfamiliar, but I got some good ones today! ($50 worth of food for $3!).

Double-check the conditions for each restaurant. Sometimes they have a minimum purchase for the larger gift certificates, and sometimes they add 18% gratuity (which isn't a huge deal for most restaurants).

Fat Wallet also has forums on gift cards.
posted by barnone at 11:05 AM on September 30, 2010

I have redeemed frequent flyer miles for a restaurant gift card. It seems like usually you get a little bit of a deal on what you buy with miles. If you have a credit card that accumulates points of some kind, this might be an option as well.
posted by lakeroon at 5:55 PM on September 30, 2010

BTW, barnone: runs that "90% off sale for today only" on a regular basis. Deal-watcher/aggregator sites usually catch it.

My only problem with them is their labyrinthine website. Retrieving a purchased coupon can be really frustrating.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:33 PM on October 3, 2010

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