Buying gift cards is an often-used strategy in this hobby. Most of the time, they are bought in a grocery or office supply store. However, there are also many websites that have some sweet spots. One of those websites is Raise.com. Raise also is on the Rakuten shopping portal and has its own app.
What Is Raise
Raise.com is an e-commerce platform that enables third-party sellers to sell new or used gift cards on a fixed-price online marketplace alongside Raise's regular offerings. The company was launched in 2013 and is based in Chicago.
Raise offers three ways to save. You can buy full price gift cards and earn Raise cash, which can be redeemed towards other gift card purchases. You can buy discounted gift cards from resellers selling at a discount rate. And lastly, they also offer an option to search for coupons and promo codes similar to a portal.
Why Gift Cards
My primary use of Raise so far has been to buy Delta gift cards. However, I also like to save on retail and dining out, and Raise has plenty of that as well. I hadn't used airline gift cards too much, but with airlines like Delta offering more flexibility, I know I can cancel a flight and simply get an e-credit. With my last purchase and cancelation, I noticed that my e-credit would not let me redeem without calling. I am not sure if that is a one-time glitch or not, but I am enjoying the discounts.
How it Works
You can search for the gift card you want, and Raise will show the options available. You can also search by gift card amount or discount. One of the great features I like is the gift card discount alert. You set up an email alert based on the discount you want. Additionally, you can sort by whether you want a physical card or an electronic one sent via email. If you are buying an electronic gift card, you receive your gift card usually within a few minutes.
Sweet Spots and Stacks
One of the things I have used to my advantage is Raise cash. As mentioned earlier, you can buy regular, full-priced gift cards and earn Raise cash. You can use your Raise cash to offset discounted gift cards as well. The key is to look for promotions or elevated earning on gift cards.
Recently, I was able to buy Delta gift cards twice to earn Raise cash. The first time, I bought $250 and earned $50 in Raise cash, followed by a second $250 gift card that earned me $25 in Raise cash. A free $75 in Delta money for travel was already great. But then I used the Raise cash to buy other Delta gift cards. Although I sacrificed a little on the points earning by not using a credit card that offers bonus points for travel, I still make sure I am booking flights for more than the amount of my gift cards. This leaves me room to pay with my Chase Sapphire Reserve for travel protections.
As I mentioned, Raise is also on the Rakuten shopping portal. You will usually earn 1% cash back or American Express Membership Rewards on your purchase. If you are using your gift card on another site that is on a portal, you can stack your purchase. An example of this is when I shop at Old Navy. I buy an Old Navy gift card earning the 1% through Rakuten, then use my Old Navy gift card also on Rakuten to earn the current Old Navy rate, which is usually 2% but can double or triple at times. If you shop at Old Navy frequently, you can stack all of this with your Old Navy super cash as well.
Buying gift cards can save you money and still earn you points. There is always a risk, since gift cards can be lost or have their value drained through fraudulent activity. However, with Raise, you not only have access to your gift card numbers on the site and the app, but they offer a one-year money back guarantee. I use my best everyday spending credit card for the initial gift card purchase. Utilizing promotions and stacks can be a winning combination. Have you used Raise? Do you buy discounted gift cards? Want to find out more? Come over to our Facebook group and let us know your thoughts.