Christmas Gift Cards: The Hardest Lesson I’ve Learned

What I’ve learned this holiday shopping season will forever change the way I shop for gift cards and I wanted to share this hard lesson I discovered with you.

Avoid buying gift cards in retail stores

Scammers use gift cards as a convenient means of payment in their scams. In fact, gift card scams exist when cards are bought in a retail store, where criminal scammers tamper with some cards – rendering them worthless after you’ve added hard-earned monetary value. Why do scammers love gift card payments so much?

  • Virtually untraceable
  • Immediately available
  • Easy to convert to cash or bitcoin
  • Ability to move large amounts of money in small packages.

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Here are some of my lessons I learned about gift cards this year.

Here are some of my lessons I learned about gift cards this year.
(iStock, file)

Only buy from cash back gift card sources

When you buy gift cards through cash back sources, you earn money and incentives just for gift card purchases. With cashback gift cards, you receive a gift while being generous to others.

Here is my list of top reputable cashback gift card sources:

1) Ibota

Ibotta is a wonderful app that can help you make cash back at some of your favorite stores like Target, Starbucks, Lowe’s and over 1,500 other retailers. These include rewards on grocery stores, meal deliveries, movie and concert tickets, and more.

Ibotta gift card options.

Ibotta gift card options.
(CyberGuy.com)

As soon as you have bought the gift card for your loved one, you will immediately receive cashback on your Ibotta account. How to buy gift cards for others in the Ibotta app:

Go to the “Shopping by Category” section gift cards on the home screen of the Ibotta app and find or browse retailers using a range of categories including nearby, clothing, coffee & tea, electronics, health & beauty and more.

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Select the store you want and select the Buy Gift Card option. You will note the percentage you get back once you buy the gift card. As you can see in the example below, when you buy an Old Navy gift card you get 7% back. You can get up to 20% back on some cards.

How to buy a gift card through Ibotta.

How to buy a gift card through Ibotta.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • Enter the amount you would like to put on the gift card
Here is where you can make the payment on Ibotta.

Here is where you can make the payment on Ibotta.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • Switch This is a gift to email or text the card to your loved ones after purchase; You do not need the Ibotta app to use the gift card.
With Ibotta you can make money back.

With Ibotta you can make money back.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • Find instant cashback in your Ibotta account once your purchase is complete.

Click this linkand use the referral code mpiaurm to earn $10 when you submit your first receipt .

Copy the code to paste it into the Referral Code field on the Ibotta Create Account page: mpiaurm.

To learn more about how to get great freebies with the Ibotta app, visit CyberGuy.com and search for “Ibotta” by clicking the magnifying glass icon at the top of my website.ge

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2) Rakuten

This popular retailer offers easy ways to make money back. They can return cash to select gift cards purchased in stores through Rakuten’s website or by downloading their app. Note: You may not receive cashback for portions of purchases made using your own gift cards or vouchers, meaning you must always pay with a regular credit or debit card to receive cashback.

Shopping Rakuten Gift Cards.

Shopping Rakuten Gift Cards.
(CyberGuy.com)

They offer over 3,500 stores to choose from, including Bath & Body Works, Ulta, and Uber, and each store will list the percentage of refund you’ll get after your purchase. Stores like Adidas and Petco offer up to 6% cashback when you buy gift cards through Rakuten.

How to give your loved one a Rakuten gift card and receive cashback:

  • go to tea Rakuten> Click on “Categories” in the menu > Click on Rakuten gift card shop
The Rakuten gift card shop.

The Rakuten gift card shop.
(CyberGuy.com)

Select your gift card business brands here.

Select your gift card business brands here.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • Select the store you want to shop at and choose the amount you want to load onto the gift card. Note the percentage of cashback you get for purchasing the gift card.
Earn cashback by purchasing gift cards from Rakuten.

Earn cashback by purchasing gift cards from Rakuten.
(CyberGuy.com)

Be sure to click "Send as a gift."

Be sure to click Send as Gift.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • Check the Send as a giftpossibility
  • See how your cashback earnings are reflected in your Rakuten account.

Join Rakuten here and earn $30 when you spend $30. See conditions on Rakuten page.

3) Top Cashback

TopCashback gift cards offer up to 20.8% cashback when you purchase gift cards through their service. Some of the stores they work with are Macy’s, Kohl’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods. How to send someone else a gift card through TopCashback.

TopCashback also offers you cash when purchasing gift cards.

TopCashback also offers you cash when purchasing gift cards.
(CyberGuy.com)

Here are the great options on TopCashback.

Here are the great options on TopCashback.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • Select the store you want to shop at, choose the gift card amount and click Next. Note the percentage of cashback you get under each gift card.
Here you can select the amount for the gift card.

Here you can select the amount for the gift card.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • On the following page, select “Email someone else” and fill in the information
Choose to email gift cards to yourself or someone else.

Choose to email gift cards to yourself or someone else.
(CyberGuy.com)

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  • Enter your payment information and TopCashback will send the gift card to your recipient. You will get your money back within 30 days.

Sign up for TopCashback here.

4) PayPal honey

Many people use PayPal as their main online payment service. However, most don’t realize all the rewards that can come with using PayPal Honey. PayPal Honey doesn’t offer cashback when consumers use gift cards, but you can redeem points you earn while shopping through the app for cash, gift cards, or PayPal shopping credit.

Once you download the app and create an account with PayPal Honey, which is free, you can enable the Cash Back option to qualify for points on your eligible purchases. The app will then let you know when you shop at your favorite stores, whether you qualify for points earned, as well as any exclusive deals the store is offering, such as discounts. B. Double Cash Back.

Over 4,500 stores have a points system with PayPal Honey, including Apple, Walmart and Home Depot.

PayPal Honey for gift card points.

PayPal Honey for gift card points.
(CyberGuy.com)

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Once you’ve accumulated enough points, you can redeem those points for cash, gift cards, or PayPal shopping credit. If you would like to use the points to purchase gift cards, you can do so on PayPal Honey’s redemption page. All you have to do is:

  • Select the shop of your choice
Honey gift card options.

Honey gift card options.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • Choose the number of points you wish to redeem and selectrepay
How to redeem points with PayPal Honey.

How to redeem points with PayPal Honey.
(CyberGuy.com)

  • PayPal Honey will email you your e-gift card within 24 hours.
  • Learn more about joining PayPal Honey by clickinghere.

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