Playing the Gift Card Game

May 4, 2015

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Gift Card Deals

How to get Discounted and FREE Gift Cards

Last month I wrote a story for The City Journals about how playing the gift card game could really add up for some additional savings. Did you catch it? It may have been a funny extreme but, in truth learning to use gift cards as a means of payment can save you some serious cash, especially on large ticket items or at stores and restaurants you frequent often.

Here is a list of my top favorite apps and websites for getting Gift Cards. Start slow, with just one or two apps. Once you get the hang of it, you are going to love having the extra cash these tricks can get you.

shopkick KUTV viewers, these are the apps. mentioned on the segment.

Shopkick - This is my favorite app. for earning gift cards. You get points just for walking into various stores, including Penney's, Old Navy, Target, Costco, Smith's Market Place, Best Buy and many more. Additional points can be earned by scanning the barcodes of certain products. There's a community of "Shopkickers". You can spot them by the trail of products they leave with the barcodes turned for scanning. I bump into fellow Shopkickers all the time.

The hubs and I have earned $100's in free gift cards with this app. and I've met a lot of "Shopkickers" that pay for Christmas this way. Some send their teenagers during the summer to give them something productive to do. The hubs and I have been known to choose dinner and Shopkick for our Datenight. Yes, I am that ridiculous 🙂 Full review of Shopkick can be found on this post here.

CheckPoints - CheckPoints is another shopping app that allows the user to accumulate points by shopping and scanning various products. The points can them be redeemed for gift cards. Enter the code coupons4utah during the sign-up process to snag 50 extra bonus points. reciepts Receipt Hog - Enter code skunk489 when signing up for bonus coins. Users earn coins by submitting grocery receipts. The coins can be used towards a PayPal payout or and Amazon Gift card. It only take 1,000 points to get $5.00.

receipt hog

Receipt Hog will also give you free spins on their Hog Slots for other store receipts. Those spins can get you more coins.

Receipt Pal - (iPhone, Android) Snap a picture of any US dollar receipt and receive points towards free gift cards. A $5.00 Amazon gift card is 1,550 points.

Pact (formally Gympact) - (iPhone, Android). Get paid cold hard cash for working out,

App Trailers - (iPhone, Android), Users are asked to watch Trailers of Hot Apps. They you'll earn Reward Points! Redeem your Reward Points with instant Gift Cards and Free Cash with Money from Paypal!

Viggle - (iPhone, Android) Viggle users are awarded points towards free merchandise and gift cards by watching TV. Allow the app access to your microphone and then watch TV as normal.

Search Engines that Reward you with Gift Cards

A good way to pile up the points when hunting for rewards with search engines is too search for the websites you visit routinely.

Swagbucks - Swagbucks is fun and easy. Not only do you earn points for searching the web, you can also earn points by watching SwagTV and taking surveys.

Bing - Powered by Microsoft. All you need to do to pile up the points, is log in to your Microsoft account on Bing and start surfing.

Where to buy discounted Gift Cards:

Knowing where to look can be all it takes to save as much as 25% on your gift card purchase.

Costco and Sam's Club both have discounted gift cards that can save you as much as 20% off. Look for them in the store or you can purchase them online. Also, currently Sam's Club is offering new members a free $5.00 Sam's club gift card and free Rotisserie Chicken for joining. - Discounted gift cards can be found in the Daily Deal section. These are limited, come and go without warning and sell out fast. They will often save you as much as 25% off. Locate them at - Sells a huge variety of gift cards. You'll find everything from Grocery gift cards to Restaurants and Department stores. Discounts depend on the gift card and can save you as much as 15%. Looking to unload a gift card you can't use? Card Cash will purchase your gift cards from you too. - Sells discounted gift cards. Currently you can enter the coupon code RAISE75AF to take $5 off a $75 purchase.

Stores with Gift Card Deals:

Many stores have rewards programs and bonuses that can get you additional savings on gift cards for their store and sometimes other stores too.

Smith's - Often offers 4X fuel rewards on gift card purchases. The offer is typically valid on any gift card except for a Smith's store gift card and usually has to be loaded digitally on your Smith's shoppers card. Smith's is also know for offering digital coupons for gift cards. For example, just a couple of weeks ago they had a digital coupon valid for $5.00 off a $20 Payless Shoes gift card.

Kohl's - Has a program called Yes2Rewards where shoppers earn points with each purchase. The points will then automatically convert to Kohl's gift cards. This great program is in addition to weeks when they have Kohl's cash and you don't need a Kohl's card to join the program. It's free to join and currently new members will receive a $5.00 Kohl's reward just for signing up.

JC Penney - Has new rewards program where rewards members earn points for purchases. The rewards stack up for bonus JCP gift cards.

Target - Target offers weekly sales specials where shoppers are rewarded with Target store gift cards for purchasing select products. Plus, if there are coupons for these products you can use them when making your purchase. These additional savings can often make your products completely free after considering the gift card. For a current list of what products have gift card promotions visit

Now, just imagine: Purchase a Kohl's gift card at Smith's during a 4x Fuel reward promotion, using your credit card that offers bonus points, then heading to Kohl's to make your purchase. Use the Kohl's gift card you purchased at Smith's and get Yes2Rewards Kohl's credit. That's what we call a triple dip. And, I haven't even mentioned Kohl's Cash or coupons.

Other stores that have great rewards programs are Best Buy, Staples, Office Depot, Famous Footwear and Sears/Kmart.

Other Tips:

Know your Bank or Credit Card programs. Many banks and credit unions offer bonus offers and rewards on purchases and often this means making a gift card purchase can earn you additional bonuses and even gift cards.

Watch the app ratings: There are 100's of apps that promise rewards for members. The best way I have found to filter through them is to read the reviews. If the app. has three stars or below, it's probably going to be a waste of your time.

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If you are interested in the handy little Card Cubby you saw on the KUTV 2 News segment. You can check them out here at Enter the code cubby10 to drop the price by 10% and get free shipping.

Reader Feedback

And last, for a little inspiration, checkout this feedback posted on Facebook from one of our readers. We love it when that happens.

Do you have a favorite app. for gift card getting?

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