Gift cards: How to save big, get cash back

Monday, November 23, 2015
Gift cards: How to save big, get cash back
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ABC's Becky Worley has more.

Before you give a gift card this holiday season, remember this: not all gift cards are equal.

You might find it impersonal, but gift cards are the most sought-after type of present for the holidays. Before you make a purchase, here are some things to know:

Consider online gift cards

They can buy what you want but cost up to 30 percent less than buying a gift card in the store. and are where you can pick up discounted gift cards.

The most popular gift cards are...

General gift cards like Visa or Mastercard allow you to buy anything from retailers who accept those credit cards. But, be forewarned, these cards generally carry a $3 to $5 fee on top of the cost of the card.

Making money off your gift cards

Want to get cash for Christmas instead? The Shell gift card will net you 99 percent of your money back on the gift card's value. says Walmart and Target will get you 96 percent, and Mastercard and Home Depot gift cards will get you 95 percent.

Don't pay shipping costs

Some 30 percent of gift cards require a shipping fee if purchased online. Save some money by sending a digital gift card instead to your recipient's email inbox to avoid those shipping fees.