Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

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Louis Winthorpe III
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Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by Louis Winthorpe III »

It's graduation season, and I have to send gifts to some nieces and nephews. I plan to send prepaid debit / gift cards. What's the cheapest way to do that? I'd like to avoid fees to the extent possible. I'm assuming I'll have to pay at least a shipping fee, but can I avoid paying an activation fee?
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BorisTheSpider
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by BorisTheSpider »

Visa/MC/Amex gift cards all have an activation fee. The lowest fee you will find on a Visa gift card is through Simon Malls (if you happen to have one in your area). The activation fee is $2.95. If you go to a drugstore/grocery store to buy a Visa/MC/Amex gift card the typical activation fee is $4.95 or $5.95. I personally have found no way around paying an activation fee.

Here is the link to Simon Malls to see if there is one near you: http://www.simon.com/search

Good luck! :thumbsup
~Boris~
THY4373
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by THY4373 »

If you are an AAA member and your local AAA is participating in the current promotion through 6/30/14 you can get up to $500 Visa CGs at AAA (they can be any amount up to $500) fee free. They are fee free for the recipient for I think at least 12 or 13 months (normal for most cards). The normal fee at AAA for members for such cards is $2.95 which is still great. Simon Malls (check their website to see if they are near your) I believe offer Visa and Amex giftcards up to $500 in value for $2.95. You can purchase them at the customer service counter (they are valid at any location not just the mall). I don't have one near me so never used them. After that the next best deal is probably One Vanilla (make sure it is One Vanilla and not the other Vanilla products sold) Visa debit cards sold at CVS and Walgreens among others. They have a $4.95 purchase fee and can be purchased up to $500 in value. All these locations take credit cards for purchase so a rewards credit card might impact which is most cost effective. I buy 1000s of dollars of Visa gift cards a month and these are the best deals I am aware of. There are some other multistage ways of lower your cost but you probably don't want to do that for a couple of cards.
THY4373
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by THY4373 »

BorisTheSpider wrote:Visa/MC/Amex gift cards all have an activation fee.
True 99% of the time but the current and reoccurring AAA deal has $0.00 activation deal as noted in my post. Of course there is a fee to join AAA but if OP is already a member then a great deal.
ajcp
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by ajcp »

My bank has offered them few few in the past, you can check if yours does too.
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Toons
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by Toons »

"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee
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nyknicks4412
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by nyknicks4412 »

If you have a rewards credit card use that the purchase the gift cards to offset the fees. I have a 6% cash back credit card for groceries that I use to buy gift cards to restaurants, department stores ect. all the time just to take advantage of the cash back.

As a recent grad I will say that we definitely prefer cash. Any gift is a great gift but cash is the most flexible and there is plenty of expenses for new graduates!
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mhc
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by mhc »

You can send Amazon gift cards through email for no additional cost. Fast and easy if you have an Amazon account.
surfstar
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by surfstar »

I would think a personal check would be slightly more secure than cash or gift cards, and also fee-free.
Otherwise, I'd say send cash. Gift cards, yes even the VISA/AMEX type are more of a hassle to use.
Topic Author
Louis Winthorpe III
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by Louis Winthorpe III »

Thanks for the replies. For various reasons, I prefer to send a physical gift card rather than cash or check or an e-gift card. I was able to find several promo codes that waived the purchase fee (I used FPDAD) and a site that charged only $2 for shipping. Using my 2% Fidelity Amex to buy it means the cost to me for a $100 card is $100. That's what I was looking for. I just didn't want to pay $110 to send $100, and the first Amex site I went to wanted to charge me $3.95 to purchase and $5.95 to send.
Five Scoop
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by Five Scoop »

My bank, TD Bank, let's you purchase Visa gift cards without a fee. You could check to see if your bank has a similar program.
Saving$
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by Saving$ »

Credit unions often have them for no cost, with no cost to user. Just walk in and purchase.

Amex sometimes has a no purchase fee deal if you buy them direct from the Amex website.
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dratkinson
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by dratkinson »

Just sent a "gift card" as a wedding present. It has the option of being directly deposit-able into their bank account. It's called a "check". :)

Letter of congratulations, check, security envelope, "old" Forever stamp. Done.
d.r.a., not dr.a. | I'm a novice investor, you are forewarned.
island
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by island »

Just send a check. Why make it more complicated than it needs to be for you or the receiver.
cmr86
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by cmr86 »

Louis Winthorpe III wrote:It's graduation season, and I have to send gifts to some nieces and nephews. I plan to send prepaid debit / gift cards. What's the cheapest way to do that? I'd like to avoid fees to the extent possible. I'm assuming I'll have to pay at least a shipping fee, but can I avoid paying an activation fee?
Why not purchase Group-ons relative to their locations?
SRenaeP
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by SRenaeP »

If you have an AmEx credit card, check their website. I often see promos where the gift card fee is waived (don't know about shipping though) for cardholders.

-Steph
linenfort
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Re: Cheapest option for sending gift cards?

Post by linenfort »

Louis Winthorpe III wrote: For various reasons, I prefer to send a physical gift card rather than cash or check or an e-gift card.
...only $2 for shipping. Using my 2% Fidelity Amex to buy it means the cost to me for a $100 card is $100.
You still get 2% back even when you're just buying a gift card? That's amazing.
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