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8 Ways to Get Free or Discounted Gift Cards

8 Ways to Get Free or Discounted Gift Cards

I love receiving gift cards, especially when I’m on a tight budget. I can treat myself and spend them without guilt!

Most shoppers head to a gift card rack and pay full price (gasp)! But I know you are way too savvy for that, and want gift cards for free whenever possible. Right?

Here are some creative ideas to help us all get free or discounted gift cards.

1. Air Miles Cash

If you collect Air Miles Cash, you can easily get gift cards for free. Buy them during their promotions, which usually happen every month. During their last promotion I bought my husband Rona gift cards for his “honey-do” list and got an AMAZING DEAL. Here’s how:

  • I cashed in 95 miles for $10 to spend in the store.
  • On promotion, I “spent” $40 and got 95 miles back (worth $10).
  • I bought him 2 x $40 gift cards and it only cost me 2 x $30 Air Miles Cash (NOTHING out of pocket).

They also offer gift cards at Shell, Metro, Staples, Cineplex and others.

2. Swagbucks

If you haven’t already signed up for Swagbucks, you’re missing out on free gift cards galore! It takes time to get familiar with the program, but read these hints to earn Swagbucks faster. Cash these in for free gift cards from Amazon, iTunes, Starbucks, Lowes and more. You can even get cash right to your Paypal account!


You can buy gift cards at for places where you regularly shop. If you know you will be making a purchase from Old Navy, first visit to get an Old Navy gift card.

Every gift card you buy (or sell) earns you Swappoints which you can cash in for free gift cards. The percentages you earn depend on the retailer, and range from 3%-15%. It is quick and easy and helps stretch your dollars.

4. PC Points

pc plus card
I recently shared how my sister purchased a $380 barbecue from Target for $40, using her PC points.

How was that possible since Target doesn’t accept PC points? At No Frills, she used her PC points to get a Target gift card for free. Redeem points to get gift cards without paying out of pocket.

5. Switch It Out

If you already have a gift card you do not want, consider switching it out. Last Christmas I received a $100 Sears gift card. I went to Sears on three separate occasions and couldn’t find anything that I was excited to buy for that amount.

I was able to buy a pre-paid Visa for the same amount with my Sears gift card. There was a small activation fee, but it was worth it for me to be able to buy exactly what I wanted at another store.

6. Kijiji

Kijiji is another option for getting discounted gift cards. Before I make a major purchase at a store, I watch Kijiji for reduced gift cards. I recently saw an ad for a $500 Urban Barn Gift Card, and they were asking $400 or best offer. If you were about to buy a couch at Urban Barn this would be a fantastic savings!

To buy a gift card privately, meet at the store to verify the amount prior to your purchase.

7. Contests

Getting gift cards for a discount is great, but imagine the thrill of winning them? Many of the prizes for contests these days are gift cards for different retailers! Now that’s an exciting prize to win!

8. Just Ask

With Christmas approaching, the most obvious way to get gift cards is to ask for them. If you love them as much as I do, put them on your Christmas list. Chances are, others will enjoy purchasing something they know you will love (that doesn’t require wrapping!). What better way to get a gift card for free?

Gift cards can be significant money saving tools. You can use them to free up money in the budget for other purchases. You can also use them for gifts and occasional splurges. However you use gift cards, enjoy getting them either discounted or free.

Please comment with your own ideas for getting free or discounted gift cards!


  1. Kaitlin Deroo

    Shoppers Drug Mart has had a gift card promotion the past few years where if you spend a certain amount on 2 or more gift cards, you get 8000 Optimum points. I know this isn’t quite getting a discounted gift card, but you get $10 in points for buying gift cards you would buy anyway. Usually a limit of 3 transactions like this per person, so if every person eligible for an Optimum card in your family has one you could end up with a lot of points! Which you can spend on things you need (or want!)

  2. Karen Gauvreau

    Kaitlin: Great tip! I love when you can earn points on things you were definitely going to buy (like gas from Esso). Thanks for reminding us about this idea.

  3. Olivia

    Right now, Groupon is selling a $10.00 gift card for $5.00 for Starbucks. It doesn’t expire and you can buy anything from their shop, even discounted items, food, drinks, etc.

  4. Erin

    Great tips! I am definitely going to try some of these this year!

  5. Vicky

    You can purchase gift cards at Target with your Red Card and get 5% off.

  6. carol

    A very helpful post! I am inspired to try these ideas because you have given specific steps to follow.

  7. Ranj

    A lot of restaurants are promoting buying gift cards and getting a bonus free one. Like white spot and red robin.

  8. Nicole

    I just used my Airmiles to redeem for a restaurant & never thought about redeeming at Safeway & buying the GC for the same restaurant to get additional points. Thank you so much for sharing! I’m going to be more savvy about my gc shopping now!

  9. Karen Gauvreau

    Love all of these ideas – and the enthusiasm. Go Cassie readers!!

  10. Nicole

    I love the ideas for the bonus airmiles at Metro but you can’t redeem cash rewards at metro for gift cards. I checked online and gift cards are excluded. Only products in the store. I wish you could get gift cards with your airmiles. I like earning the extra points so I’ll watch for those promos.

  11. Mary

    My husband is buying his staff (35) $50 gift cards for Christmas. Are there any that you suggest we buy where we can get some type of reward for purchasing? I had suggested SDM but he wants to go with a supermarket GC.

  12. Karen G

    Mary: Great question – not sure of any specific promos on right now, but keep watching our website for deals on gift cards. The idea of getting 5% at Target by using your red card sounds like a good one when you are buying that many. And SDM is always recommended – they do have a large variety of options, so you could probably find something he will be pleased with. Good luck – let us know if you find a great deal!

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