Clever Ways to Get Holiday Gifts for Free

Written by Jaymi Naciri Posted On Wednesday, 11 December 2019 05:00

Strapped for cash this holiday season? There are a bunch of easy ways to stretch your money and take advantage of retailers’ and brands’ special offers. Some of these are smart strategies for every day, but if you’re looking to cut down on your send for the holidays, they will be especially useful now.

Search for buy one get one deals

T-Mobile just had a buy one, get one (BOGO) free Apple iPhone 11 deal. Target typically drops a BOGO deal on video games around this time. Keep your eyes open at your favorite stores. Something you need (or want) could yield you a free gift for someone else, too. 

Sign up for cash-back sites

“One of our favorite ways to save at Walmart is with Rakuten, a cash-back site that gives you 10% cash-back on everything you purchase at,” said The Penny Hoarder. There’s no catch. You just have to sign up for a free Rakuten account. Plus, they’ll give you free $10 gift card to Walmart for giving the site a try.

Use Brad’s Deals

We love this site, which combs the internet daily and then sends out an email each morning with the best deals on everything from clothes and shoes to jewelry to cosmetics to electronics and other stuff for the home. They post BOGO offers, and even if you can’t find a freebie, you will find the best discounts around, without having to spend hours on internet sleuthing. 

Use your miles

You may not have enough miles to gift someone air travel, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put those miles to good use over the holidays. Many programs have built-in gift options at certain mile thresholds, and also offer gift cards in exchange for miles. Sure, you might not want to give up 5,000 miles for a $50 gift card, but if you’re short of cash, and do have a bunch of miles built up, this is a way to go. 

Sign up for emails and download apps

Some retailers offer special time-sensitive promotions to their email list or communicate the best sales info through their apps.

Beware of special programs for things you use every day

Target’s newish program, Cartwheel, gives you 1% back on every purchase. This is on top of the 5% you get for using your Target store card. 

Sign up for Movie Rewards Loyalty Programs

If you see a lot of movies, you can use their loyalty programs to rack up points to see more movies—or use them for concessions or gift cards. Alamo Drafthouse, AMC, Cinemark, Regal Cinemas, Fandango, and Flix all have rewards programs. 

Get the right credit card

“With smart spending, you can earn tons of miles that you can use to send someone (or yourself!) on a trip or use for other purchases, or get cash back to use for gifts. “The Citi Premier Card currently even comes with a 60,000 point sign-up bonus after you spend $4,000 in the first three months after account opening,” said The Points Guy.

Check multiple purchase specials

Target is known for offering deals on certain items where you get a $10 gift card for buying four packages of toilet paper. You may not need four packages of toilet paper right now, but it’s not like it’s going to go to waste (actually, it is!)! 

Gifts with purchase

Stores like ULTA typically have a gift with purchase deal around the holidays, like a free plush robe with the purchase of a fragrance package. The hardest part will be figuring out which one you want to keep and which one to give away!

Use Fetch Rewards

This is a grocery savings app that allows you to earn points for participating brands, which you can then cash out for gift cards. “All you have to do to earn rewards is take a photo of your receipt,” said The Penny Hoarder. No scanning barcodes; no searching for offers; no store limitations. Every time you scan a receipt that includes one of more than 250 participating brands, you’ll earn points — without worrying about matching specific product offers. Once you collect enough points, cash out for a gift card to any of a number of retailers.”

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