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E-Gift Cards Rising In Popularity

A Continuous Phenomenon

Day by day, e-gift cards are growing in popularity and retailers are jumping on the bandwagon. This is revolutionizing gift giving in many ways, essentially driving gift card exchange behind the scenes.

E-gift cards are popping up in multiple forms. Most retailers are turning to the e-mail recipient method however many can be brought up on a smartphone. Amazon even provides a facebook delivery method which may very well be the method of the future.

In most cases, one can set a delivery time for these gift card transactions making things very easy for gift card consumers.

By The Numbers

BankRate.com released an annual gift card survey last November which found that 51 percent of 63 popular gift cards it reviewed offered an e-card option which was 10% higher than the previous calendar year.  Of the 45 retailers surveyed, 26 had e-card options including the like of Macy’s, Starbucks, Best Buy, and Target.

Rebekka Rea, executive director at the Retail Gift Card Association said “Retailers are adding them in droves,”  and that “It’s definitely something that if retailers don’t have now, they are behind.”

But why you might ask? Just imagine that you remember your brother’s birthday is tomorrow and you need to get him a gift card 5 states away. Why not drop something nice in his inbox at ease and your convenience?

Another negative of hard plastic gift cards is the cost. Some retailers are charging hard card fees as well as any shipping charges you may face online.

Chief executive of CashStar.com, David Stone said “There are two reasons why consumers don’t use gift cards today. We don’t have time to go to the store or wait for the plastic to be shipped and they’re not personal enough”.

With technological development comes market advancements. The world of e-gifting is growing rapidly and is sure to continue peaking. As more retailers make this option available, we as consumers continue to reap the benefits of this change.

Popular Retailers Who Offer E-Gift Cards

Can I Use Gift Cards For Credit Card Debt?

Most reports online claim that consumers are not able to potentially redeem gift cards for personal credit debt.  This claim however, proves to be false because there is in fact a way to cover a portion of debt with a gift card. There are a few requirements and at the end of the day, your’e financial institution needs to accept this form of transaction for it to work. This is how you can make it happen:

  1. Major Issuer-Gift Card must be issued by major banking authority like Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. This means the card will most likely bare the issuer emblem on the bottom right corner if it is eligible.
  2. Split-Tender Transaction– Ask your bank for a split-tender transaction. This means you will pay on the debt by means of gift card along with another payment. Make sure you have excess personal funds to distribute along with the funds from the card. Do not expect to attempt to pay the full amount of the bill with your gift card. This option is not available.

About Split Tender Transactions

Split tender transactions occur when two methods of payment are used. It is likely that this is most prevalent when consumers go to spend the last few dollars on their gift cards in retail outlets. Some smaller retailers do not allow these transactions simply because their point of sales (POS) machines are not made for it. The split tender transactions discussed in this post are strictly to be made over the phone with a dedicated financial representative.

Should your gift card not be honored for one of these split tenders, I suggest trying to sell gift cards with GiftCardRescue. GiftCardRescue.com offers a program where consumers can earn up to $.92 back on every dollar. This is a great way to get cash back with which you can then use to pay bills.

Using Gift Cards As Rewards

Many businesses have recently been reporting that majority of their employees say they would rather receive gift cards as a reward for their efforts than any other incentive, even cash! Arguments might be plenty that gift cards aren’t personal enough, however, one can’t argue about the fact that they are more appealing as a reward than cash.

Gift Cards are more cherished and they have a longer ‘holding’ capacity, where they can be kept as a souvenir, whereas cash is so easily disposable.

Gift Cards also afford business owners the opportunity to reward their employees while also conveying some sort of familiarity  with their employees. When employees get the idea that an employer has taken the time to learn their likes and dislikes, the type of food they eat, type of store they patronize etc, the employees feel a lot more appreciated and inspired to work that much harder.

In recent studies, the Incentive Research Foundation found that incentives increase work performance by an average of 22%. Gift cards can serve as the right incentive in that not only can it be a trophy, it is primarily money to an ‘appreciated’ merchant. It is also important to note that according to the research, majority of the participants said travel incentives and merchant based incentives were on top of their wish list. Wondering where to find them? GiftCardRescue.com affords business owners the chance to buy discounted gift cards in bulk as rewards.

New Style Auction Sites Selling Discounted Gift Cards

Recently, many new style auction sites have been popping up all over the internet. These Auction sites, like www.bidzillion.com are very different from traditional sites like eBay. Most people are familiar with how eBay works, even if you’ve never used it before. You place you bid on an item you want to purchase and whoever out bids the other guy, is the winner.

Sites like Bidzillion work in a very different way. Let me start by saying that these sites claim you can buy brand new items at up to 99% off retail price. And after doing some research, it does appear that this is possible. However, in order to place a bid, you must first buy a “package” of bids. These can range anywhere from $15.00 for 20 bids, to $500.00 for 1,000 bids.

So, before you can even attempt to bid on an item, your spending money. The way the auction works is very different from traditional auction sites as well. All the items, which is typically about 30-50 items available to bid on, have a countdown timer displayed which typically lasts about 6 to 9 hours. Usually, there is no action on the items until minutes before the auction is ending.

So, as an item I was interested in, a $100 American Express Gift Card came down to about 5 minutes left. I placed a bid. The way the bidding works is that every bid is 1 penny more than the last. So at the time of my bid there was .15 cents already placed. I placed my bid, took it up to 16 cents and anxiously awaited my gift card.

However, shortly after, I was out bided by another cent! I bid again, and then so did somebody else. What eventually happened is that as the timer goes down, someone would place a last second bid, and then the timer restarts! It restarts at a 10 second count down, so every 10 seconds someone would throw a bid on it, over and over again restarting the timer!

This went on for hours, in fact about 2 hours until the auction finally ended. As a result the gift card cost got up to around 8.oo, but I had placed my last bid hours ago.

The only way this style auction would be useful, is if you had hours to sit around and spend watching the bids, making sure you are the last one bidding. After the money it costs to actually buy the bids and the time it takes to win the auction, I can conclude that this was a big waste of time and money!

It’s almost impossible to get the item you’re actually interested and buying bids is expensive. If you’re looking to buy discounted gift cards, or discounted anything; in my opinion its best to stick with websites who offer set discounts on these items in a straight forward, easy manner.

5 Ways to Save With Gift Cards

Regardless of how much money you make or what part of the country you live in, it’s almost impossible to say you have not felt the impact of the economic turmoil we’ve all been facing over the past 5 years. People are working desperately hard to keep their homes, get out of credit card debt and lead a balanced life. One of the biggest financial concerns for most Americans is the credit card debts they carry, it’s not going anywhere.

Many people are starting to look for ways to curb their spending and save more money without drastically impacting their lifestyle. Using discount gift cards is a great way to do this. Gift cards gained some additional respect in March, when the Federal Reserve passed new laws to protect consumer spending using them. With these new protections, gift cards can be a good option for those looking to stretch their budgets.

  1. Cash in coins and redeem in gift cards. Some coin redemption machines, like those at grocery stores or banks, let you exchange your coins for gift cards. Some even offer a bonus for choosing a gift card instead of a cash voucher. Once you get the gift card, make sure to stick to the value on the card when spending and keep your cash away.
  2. Stick to your budget. Gift Cards can be a way to dedicate spending categories, similar to the “envelope” method of budgeting. For example, buy gift cards in the amount on your weekly grocery budget. The money will be gone from your bank account, eliminating the temptation to spend it on something else and possibly rely on credit cards at the checkout. You will stick to your budget and avoid adding debt. Most stores allow shoppers to “reload” gift cards anyway.
  3. Reach a goal. Some people purchase gift cards for themselves to keep their spending focus on track. For instance, if you want to lose weight, you might purchase gift cards to restaurants where you can get healthy lunches instead of hitting the fast food place. Again, because you have already allocated your spending, you are most likely to stick with your plans.
  4. Redeem rewards points for gifts. If you find yourself in some debt, you might have some rewards ‘points’. Converting these points into gift cards to give someone or to spend on yourself can keep you from reaching into your bank account. Log into your credit card rewards website to find out if you can convert rewards into cash or gift cards. Some credit card companies will double the value of your rewards at specific retailers.
  5. Save for a cause. If you know you want to complete a home improvement project in two months, you can estimate how much you would need to save every week. But if it is difficult for you to stick to your goal, instead buy gift cards to the home improvement store in the amount of the weekly savings. Again, you will avoid spending your money elsewhere – and at the end of the allocated time, will have enough funds on gift cards to complete your project without debt.

Last Minute Gift Ideas: Gifts for Him

Finding the right gift for a member of the male species can sometimes be as difficult as open heart surgery. Common male responses to the question “What do you want for Christmas?” fall anywhere from “I dunno” to “Just get me something you think I’ll like” to “You don’t need to get me anything”. In some instances, waterboard interrogation wouldn’t draw a sufficient answer.

A good rule of thumb to follow when buying gifts for the men in your life is, if it involves speed, explosions or flashy gadgetry, chances are you’re on the right track. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Stock Car Ride Along: What man hasn’t dreamt of zooming around a race track in a million dollar horsepower machine. Now that dream is possible. With a stock car ride along, you get the opportunity to sit shotgun in a Sprint Cup type stock car, driven by a professional. This is a must have for those men with a need for speed.

Call of Duty: Black Ops: From the moment it hit shelves, the newest installment in the Call of Duty video game line has been a smash success. The cold war flavored shooter available in console or PC format is sure to be a hit gift this year. The only problem will be ungluing your gamer’s fingers from the controller. For an extra kick, pick up the Prestige Edition, complete with game inspired remote control car.

Round of Golf at TPC Sawgrass: Home of the Players Championship, the Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass is every golfers dream round. Sawgrass is one of the most affordable tour quality courses that allows public play and located in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, makes for a great weekend getaway trip.

Blu Ray Player: Blu Ray has become a must have for the avid movie junkie. With Blu Ray player technology becoming more mainstream, prices are as affordable as ever, with recent pricing seen as low as $79 or less. Couple the disc player with a few new releases like Inception or The Town for a great gift bundle.

NFL Tickets: Professional football is a staple pastime for men all over the country. What better way to watch the game than to enjoy a Sunday afternoon at the stadium. With the NFL’s new ticket exchange, it is now easier than ever to find tickets for your favorite team.

GiftCardRescue.com offers discount gift cards to over 300 top retailers. With gift cards to stores such as NLF Shop, Bass Pro Shops, and Dick’s Sporting Goods, you can be sure to find the perfect gift card for the man in your life. For a full list of discount gift cards, please visit our Buy Gift Cards page.

Last Minute Gift Ideas: Tech Gifts

Last minute holiday shopping has become for many, an inevitable venture. Late nights scouring the local shopping mall, or countless hours combing the web can be as unavoidable as holiday weight gains. Fortunately, GiftCardRescue is here to help, offering gift ideas each day to help make your crunch time search a bit easier. Today we will be discussing five top technology gifts this holiday season, sure to satisfy those tech savvy individuals on your shopping list.

Top Five Tech Gifts

Android Smart Phone- Android devices are the hottest item in the smart phone world, and can be had for next to nothing on a few of the major carriers. Sites such as amazon.com, wirefly.com, and now even Best Buy are offering phones such as the htc Droid Incredible, Samsung Captivate and LG Optimus for $.01 or even free with a 2 year contract. For children or spouses looking for a new smart phone for Christmas, these deals are hard to pass up. Android smart phones will however require a data plan.

Flip ultraHD Video Camera- With Youtube and video logs taking the world by storm, many consumers have begun to hoist the camcorder. Whether you are a Youtube power user, or simply want a great video camera to document your family vacation, the Flip ultraHD video camera is a great option. The compact video recorder can easily be stored in your pocket and can record in 720p HD quality at 60 frames per second.

Kindle- E-readers are a hot gift item this year, and at the forefront of the pack is the Amazon Kindle. At only $139 for the Wi-Fi, or $199 for the Free 3G package, the Kindle is the top contender for all around e-readers. The Amazon Kindle features a new, sleek redesign, and features a full keyboard. The nice thing about Amazon is, all of your e-books are able to be easily transfered between smartphones and other devices, free of charge. We recommend the 3G version for instant access for book purchase, no matter where you are.

Xbox Kinect- The Kinect system is the latest in the motion sensory video game trend. That being said, the Kinect is above and beyond the rest of the pack. With no peripherals or controllers needed, users are truly in control of the game. Kinect ready games are limited for now, but Xbox is expected to make a strong push in this market in the near future.

Jawbone Bluetooth Headset- With many states implementing new laws to ban cell phone use in cars, blue tooth headsets are making a strong comeback. The blue tooth devices released by Jawbone are the cream of the crop. Featuring sleek, trending styling, these headsets are perfect for the hipster on your list, and with features such as wind and noise cancellation, Jawbone devices are more than just looks.

GiftCardRescue.com offers discount gift cards to many top tech and electronics retailers including Best Buy, RadioShack and Sears, at up to 30% off face value. Supplemented with ongoing holiday sales and coupons, discount gift cards can provide powerful savings. For a full list of discount gift cards, visit our Buy Gift Cards page.

Cheap Gift Cards At Gift Card Rescue

The convenience and ease of gifts cards has made them a hot selling item this holiday season, with everyone from grocery stores to gas stations getting in on the action. Gift cards have become the number one gift idea among consumers in recent years. With so many gift cards floating around these days, it’s easy to see how many of them go unused every year. It’s estimated that  nearly 20% of gift cards are never cashed in, until now.

GiftCardRescue.com allows consumers to get money back by selling unwanted and unused gift cards. That means for all the bargain shoppers out there looking for deals on gift cards, GiftCardRescue is the place to go. Selling discount gift cards from hundreds of retailers at up to 30% off, it is easy to find the perfect gift for those on your list at a fraction of the price. Put great gift cards in the hands of your family and friends, and money back in your pocket, by shopping online at GiftCardRescue.com.

Gift Card Mall

Gift cards are expected to be the most wanted gifts this year and more people are looking to buy gift cards following the new laws passed in late August 2010. Many times however, people end up at malls, brand stores, etc.,when they are looking to buy gift cards, unaware of the opportunities available online to buy discounted gift cards.

Gift card malls aren’t always the best shopping destination for gift cards since they usually don’t present the opportunity for discounts on these cards. GiftCardRescue.com is an online marketplace for people to buy and sell gift cards at discounted prices. With GiftCardRescue, you as the shopper can be sure to save up to 30% off the face value. The way the site operates is very straight forward, GiftCardRescue buys gift cards from people who have no need for then, verifies them and then resells those cards on its website.

Discounted gift cards are an added opportunity to save and be frugal when buying gifts for friends and family. Combined with coupons and promotions, shoppers can end up saving more than 50% of they would have spent. For people looking to sell gift cards and those looking to buy gift cards, check out GiftCardRescue.com today and start saving money.

Sell Gift Cards for Amazon.com credit

Sell Gift Cards for Amazon.com credit

The gift card industry in 2010 is seeing major growth with over $24.78 billion dollars being spent in gift cards this holiday season. The new CARD Act which passed in August of 2010, changed the expiration date of gift cards to be a minimum of 5 years after activation, making them a very popular option. A study conducted by the National Retail Federation indicates that over 77% of all shoppers will give at least one gift card this year.

If you receive a gift card that you have no use for, consider trading it for Amazon.com credit. Each Christmas, I receive a Home Depot gift card from my uncle that for some reason believes that I love home improvement. In the past I have given away different home improvement or restaurant gift cards that I didn’t want to friend and family members. However, now I can trade those unwanted gift cards for an e-gift card to Amazon.com

At Amazon.com, I can choose whatever I want because their product selection is endless. Even better is that the Amazon credit is stored in my account and never expires. I can save the credit until an irresistible deal comes along or I want to buy a gift for someone else. GiftCardRescue.com will offer you an additional 5% on top of whatever they normally pay for a gift card when you choose Amazon credit. So for that $100 Home Depot gift card that my uncle gives me each year, I will be trading it for Amazon.com credit.

It doesn't get any easier then that!

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