Everyday Living, Money Saving Strategies

Good deal or a crock?

Wondering what your guys’ input is …

This is something that I saw last year from several restaurants, but now I’m seeing this at one of my grocery stores, so I’m taking notice … if you buy x-amount of gift cards, you will get x-amount free. (Typically these deals run $10 gift card for every $50 you spend in gift cards or $20 for spending $100.) Is this a good deal or is this a crock?

I’ve seen these gift cards advertised at restaurants like Applebees, Outback Steakhouse … I think I have even seen them from Subway (I can actually see spending $50 to get a $10 gift card there.) There are also a lot of independent restaurants in my community that offer this type of deal and oh, is it tempting, but it wouldn’t do me a lot of good to buy these gift cards since my family lives out of state. I could totally ignore this deal altogether, but Cub Foods has a special going on right now that if you spend $100 in gift cards (they have gift cards from Barnes & Noble, Herbergers, Kohls, iTunes, etc.), you get a $10 store coupon towards your next grocery purchase. (Source for this info is Minnesota Coupon Adventure.)

Chances are good that this isn’t something that I’m going to take advantage of … I have four nephews that I still need to buy Christmas presents for and $25 in gift certificates for all of them is tempting, but this isn’t attractive enough for me to actually shell out the dollars. What about the rest of you? Is this something you would take advantage of?

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1 thought on “Good deal or a crock?

  1. It’s good if you keep in mind why they do this (I’ve read articles about this before) – #1 is that it locks your money into wherever you’re buying the gift card for, and #2 studies have shown that people tend to spend/buy more if they have a gift card vs cash (spend more, and buy things they otherwise wouldn’t have bought).

    My take on that has always been, if I KNOW that I will be spending $X, or if I was already intending to get a gift card as a gift for someone else, then I do it, because it really is free money. A good example is one Caribou did for a whole year a few years ago – put $20 on your Caribou gift card and get a free drink that day. I go to Caribou almost every morning to get my coffee, and on average $20 would go ~ 10-12 visits depending on what I get, so in that case it was a perfectly valid thing to do – 1 out of 10 days my coffee was free.

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