Third Party Gift Cards
Third party gift cards, and – more importantly – discounts on them, consistently lurk around our points and travel hobby. Also known as 3PGC’s or merchant gift cards, normal users and resellers benefit from the discounts while the gift card providers love the breakage. But generally, redeeming points or miles for third party gift cards isn’t optimal – more valuable redemptions usually exist, and again, gift card deals are seemingly everywhere. And others may prefer to redeem for cash equivalents, such as Visa or Mastercard gift cards, anyway. But for a variety of reasons, individuals may redeem for or buy third party gift cards to maximize the hobby. Today, I’m describing a few of the best third party gift cards out there.
I’m not a huge Amazon fan, but I can’t deny how versatile these cards are for the variety of goods and services Amazon provides. They’re not as useful as before, though – Amazon gift cards can no longer be used to buy other merchant gift cards. Still, given their ease of use, they’re excellent for leveraging a discounted card deal.
When I find a deeply-discounted Uber gift card deal, I usually jump on it. While I use airline miles to get to my overall destination and hotel points to stay there, Uber gift cards discount a lot of “other” travel expenses like local transportation and meals. It’s a bit more difficult to get those things “free” otherwise, so I’ll take a solid discount, instead. Plus, Uber gift cards play nicely with Amex credits. The monthly Amex credits are always used first from my wallet before any gift cards, in my experience.
Sometimes, I just want to exit a dormant currency by redeeming the scraps I have there, and gift cards are the only feasible option. If Walmart or Sam’s Club gift cards are available, I usually pick those, primarily due to their relative scarcity. Unlike Amazon or Target gift cards, Walmart and Sam’s cards are hard to find outside of their own stores. For instance, I haven’t seen Walmart cards at traditional grocery or home improvement retailers. And, of course, they’re quite versatile since these retailers sell a huge selection of items. Plus, Walmart and Sam’s Club gift cards work at each other’s locations.
Non-Disney fans can skip this one. But if you enjoy anything Disney, these cards are for you. Disney gift cardholders can buy advance tickets and make hotel reservations with them. And at the parks, Disney cards are redeemable for most anything. Cruise fans (not this guy) can freely spend with Disney gift cards, as well. Even if you’re not traveling, you can use Disney gift cards for a vast selection online. The one weak point is that Disney gift cards cannot be used for a Disney+ subscription – oddly, there’s a specific Disney+ gift card for such services.
This may be my favorite on the list. Kroger’s one of our normal grocery shopping locations, but more importantly, this gift card is capable of something most others are not. I can still buy other third party gift cards with Kroger gift cards. Therefore, I can space out my gift card purchases over time, optimally adding to my fuel points balance when I need them. And Kroger cards are available at other big box locations, where I routinely stack other offers. Of course, many stores exist in the Kroger family, so do your own research and experimentation on what’s possible.
Like many of you, I don’t want an out of control stash of third party gift cards. It’s more work and unrealized value until they’re actually used. But with a bit of targeted acquisition, I can play the hobby a bit more smartly. I’m confident many of you have go-to third party gift cards beyond what I’ve mentioned, too. What are your favorites?
Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.