Gift cards are becoming increasingly rare and valuable – especially no fee gift cards. But what is a no fee gift card? How does it work? These are very common questions, so I've put them here: A no fee card is an entirely separate credit account used just for the purpose of gift card gifting. Basically, instead of paying full price for a gift card, you instead pay nothing.
Yes, I'm talking about the seemingly miscellaneous annual fee where you get no idea as to why it's even there. Well, it becomes even worse! These days, individuals all over the country are now paying activation fees for various gift cards of all kinds. So, finally, cued up to that whole mess, I decided to write a post on where to get no fee gift cards in time for the holidays! Hopefully these tips will help out.
First off, some things to know about no activation fees: The majority of the fees associated with the gift cards themselves actually apply to the balance of your account, not to when you actually spend the money. Therefore, if you don't use your card all that often, you may not even notice that you've incurred any charges. If you like to go out and splurge on things every once in a while, this probably isn't such a big deal. But most people are more concerned about the fact that they paid a hefty annual or monthly fee to get a gift card in the first place.
As mentioned, most no fee gift cards actually just charge a one-time activation fee, usually of around $25. This fee is in addition to whatever other fees you might incur with your credit cards, including application fees, shipping costs, and any ongoing service fees. Remember that all of these fees must be paid before you can begin using the gift card. Some cards have an additional promotional offer in which the promotional item (in most cases a t-shirt) is also free with your purchase.
Of course, you're going to have to pay an annual fee to receive them. A lot of people simply ignore this requirement, but it's important to remember whether you've got a grace period with your credit cards or not. Most no fee gift cards are good for a year after you acquire them, but if you want more than one, the annual fee will be the deciding factor. Remember that once you make a purchase with your credit cards, you're required to pay the balance every month until the full year has gone by.
Now, on to the subject of no activation fees… Most major retailers offer at least a few stores where you can acquire gift cards for no activation fee. Wal-Mart is perhaps the biggest place to turn. You can search their catalog online for their no activation fee store gift cards. Or, you might consider calling up Wal-Mart and asking for specifics. In my own experience, calling up Wal-Mart directly worked out better than trying to find information through an online catalog.
If your credit card annual fee isn't waived, you'll end up paying at least a few dollars for shipping fees alone, no matter what type of gift cards you acquire. I don't know about you, but that doesn't make me happy. However, there are times when a shipping fee isn't worth it. In these cases, it might be worth it to just pay the minimal amount for shipping.
So there you have it. Now you know exactly what you need to know in order to buy gift cards with no annual fee. Now it's up to you to go out and find the best deals possible. Remember, just because you're paying no credit card annual fee doesn't mean you can just throw money at any store and receive a card. Use the tips above and you should be able to come up with some great options.