How gift cards can help you save on holiday expenses


One of the little-known secrets to saving money on your next vacation is pretty simple. Experts say gift cards are a convenient way to help lower the cost of your vacation.

“Using gift cards can help you stay within your budget,” says Stephanie Webb, travel expert and tour guide at Trip Shepherd. “By pre-purchasing gift cards for travel, you can limit your spending to the amount on the card, helping to avoid overspending.”

She continues, “Allocate $500 in dining costs by purchasing $500 restaurant gift cards. This ensures you don't go over your dining budget, potentially saving you money on unexpected expenses.

Here are more ways you can benefit from using gift cards on your summer travels.

Purchase discounted gift cards from the Warehouse Store

“I believe that using discounted gift cards in your vacation planning tool kit can be a game-changer in reducing costs and making travel dreams a reality,” said Kevin Mercier, travel expert and founder of Kevmrc. “As a seasoned travel expert, I See firsthand how savvy travelers can stretch their vacation budget even further with discounted gift cards.”

He further explains, “Purchasing gift cards from big box stores like Costco, Sam's Club, or BJ's can result in significant savings on flights, accommodations, and experiences. For example, buying a $500 Southwest Bar for $450 at Costco or Sam's Club Gift cards, like getting $50 for free on your next vacation It's not just airlines—these retailers often offer discounts on hotel stays, spa treatments, and even Airbnb bookings.

However, he said it's important to keep an eye on inventory and act quickly when you spot a deal, as supplies are limited and discounts can disappear quickly. “Also, please be aware of any limits on purchase quantities, such as Costco's maximum of five Southwest Cards per customer.”

Mercier says that while these discount gift cards can be a great way to save money, it's also important to compare prices and make sure you're really getting the deal. “Sometimes booking direct may still offer the best value, so always do your due diligence.”

Utilize gift cards through online platforms

Dan Kroyter, CEO of Tailored Pay, said that you can save a lot of money by purchasing discounted gift cards through the well-received online platform. “For example, purchasing a $100 hotel gift card at a 20% discount means only paying $80 upfront.”

He explains that finding ways to immediately stretch your vacation budget can allow you to enjoy a sweeter break—and a cheaper one.

“There are also credit card transactions and points systems that can be leveraged, such as rewards programs and benefits that offer gift cards as redemption options for vacation savings,” he added. “For example, redeeming credit card points for a $50 restaurant gift card can actually Save $50 on food and beverages on your trip, or better yet, use points to purchase flights. ”

Overall, Kreuter says planning your vacation strategically using gift cards and reward redemptions is an affordable way to travel and relax. “The only thing sweeter than taking a vacation is finding cheap ways to pay for it without even taking out your wallet.”

Save money on accommodation

Jonas Zook Jr., an Airbnb host and owner of Sweden Valley Cabins, said: “In my experience as an Airbnb host specializing in the hospitality industry, I know how guests can use gift cards to effectively extend their vacation. Budget. “For example, guests purchasing Airbnb gift cards through various promotions or discounts can significantly reduce the cost of their stay. “

He continued, “Typically, these gift cards can be purchased through online platforms or during special promotions for less than face value, sometimes with savings of up to 10-15%.”

Take advantage of gift cards during the holidays

Another practical application, Zook said, is leveraging retailer or brand-specific gift cards to manage expenses like dining and shopping during the holidays.

“For example, many major retailers offer promotional gift cards during the holidays, where purchasing a certain amount of merchandise comes with an additional rewards card—essentially worth more than the cash spent,” he explains. “Guests take advantage of these deals to save on dining and events in the Porter County area, strengthening their budgets without sacrificing quality.”

Zook continued: “From a hotel service provider’s perspective, encouraging guests to use gift cards not only helps with their financial planning, but also stimulates the local business ecosystem. It’s a win-win situation: guests enjoy more An affordable vacation experience, while local businesses benefit from the patronage generated by these prepaid expenses.

He emphasized that by incorporating gift cards into vacation plans, travelers can expand their financial reach while enjoying all the amenities and attractions their chosen destination has to offer.

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