Is This the Future of Gift Card Deals?
Over the holidays we saw a number of deals for the purchase of Visa/Mastercard gift cards. While some supermarkets got into the game, the office supply stores like Officemax and Staples were most aggressive. Staples even has another upcoming moneymaking deal.
Since I love these types of deals, I read through many ads and check out a variety of deals. Throughout the past month I noticed a deal at Albertson’s that has been running on and off. The deal looks decent on the surface, however once you get into the terms, things get a little dicey.
The Albertson’s Gift Card Deal
As you can see above, the deal seems simple. If you buy $100 in Visa, Amazon or Google Play gift cards, Albertson’s will give you $10 off of a $25 grocery purchase. With $100 Visa cards costing $5.95, there could be some potential for profit, especially if you use a card that pays 5% at grocery stores.
Problems With This Deal
There are two problems with this deal in my opinion. The first is that you are receiving a $10 voucher good for $25 in purchases. This means you are locking yourself into shopping at Albertson’s. If this is your normal store then no worries, but if not then the deal stinks in my opinion.
The real issue with this deal though is in the fine print. Look closely above. While you must buy $100 in gift cards to get the $10 coupon, only the purchase of $25 or $50 Visa cards applies. This means that you have to purchase 2 x $50 gift cards to trigger the deal.
Each $50 card comes with a $4.95 fee, meaning you are breaking even if you value the coupon that you get at $10. I really don’t think it has that much value since it requires you spend $25.
This deal is actually very smart from a business perspective. Albertson’s real customers will see this as a great thing since they are kind of getting the fees waived. These smaller denomination cards do make great gifts.
From a manufactured spend perspective this is terrible. Albertson’s has found a way to have a deal that is attractive to their target demographic while at the same time being unattractive to us. I do think we will see more companies take this strategy, because it makes good business sense.
Hopefully we will continue to see lucrative gift card deals like the recent ones at Officemax and Staples, however I think deals like this one (with more stipulations) will become more prevalent since they make good business sense. What do you think?