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According to, 93 percent of consumers use gift cards every year, spending an average of $213. We’re guessing you received some with your holiday haul. Keep reading for some ways to get the most out of your gift cards this year!

  1. Utilize the sales that WILL happen. The post-holidays are full of sales, both in-store and online. Many retailers offer huge blowout sales to lure consumers in one last attempt to get the most out of the season. This is a great chance to use gift cards, allowing you to spread their total dollar amount as far as possible. Pro tip: Look out for coupons after the holiday season to spread that money a little more.
  2. Make gift returning your friend.  Have any gifts that you genuinely, just plain do not like? Don’t feel bad – we do too. If some of the items you plan to return are at the same spots as your gift card, it can be a great opportunity to get a little extra. Using your gift cards to supplement those return purchases will give your card more value at specific stores or online retailers.
  3. Read the fine print. No, really. With gift cards, it can (literally) pay off.  Many gift cards have specific terms & conditions that you must abide by. For instance, some can only be used online, while others are only valid at participating locations of a chain. Save yourself the hassle of actually taking the initiative to go use your gift card only to find out you can’t!
  4. Re-gift or donate. Have a friend or family member’s birthday coming up? What about that monthly food drive at work to which you always mean to donate? Leveraging gift cards for planned things you know will cost money is always a good idea. So give a card to a sibling and save on buying another gift, or purchase something you can donate. Ultimately, this is a great chance to save you time and money – a win-win.

There you go, Savvy Savers. Try these few tactics to get the most out of your gift cards. Remember to keep Owning It as we begin 2016 and visit for any additional financial advice or questions.