Saving: Buying discounted gift cards

Mother's Day and Father's Day are coming up but what do you get for a mom or dad who has everything?

Many kids get gift cards, but before you buy here's a few ways to save.

You can buy discounted gift cards or sell unwanted gift cards on a number of different sites.

But I have two favorites.

One site has been called the Google of gift cards and the other lets you buy discounted cards from your phone so you can get money off on the spot while shopping.

On GiftCardGranny.com, type in the retailer whose gift card you're looking to buy.

GiftCardGranny then searches gift card exchange sites and provides a list of options from the biggest discount on down.

If mom likes Italian food, how about giving her a gift card to Maggiano's Little Italy? Using GiftCardGranny, I found a $100 Maggiano's gift card for $87.95 available from MonsterGiftCard.

And mom never has to know you got the card at a discount..

The Raise app lets you buy and sell gift cards directly from your phone. So if you're in a store, you can buy a discounted gift card and instantly save money at checkout!

For instance, shopping at Home Depot? Use Raise to get 8% off by purchasing a discounted gift card. Lowes customers? Save 6%!

It all adds up.

You can also sell your gift cards using the Raise app, but be aware - Raise takes a 15% commission.

Coinstar kiosks give cash for your unwanted gift cards.

Put your card in the machine and it'll print a voucher for you to redeem for cash inside the store the kiosk is located in.

Your gift card must have a minimum balance of $20 and you'll need to provide your ID and a couple other items for verification.

When I did a search for Coinstar kiosks near our 6abc station, I found a bunch located in Giant supermarkets.
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