How would you like to save 12% on iTunes purchases, 15% at the Gap, or 9% at Toys”R”Us with very little extra effort? These are just some of the great deals that can consistently be had by using Raise.com.
Raise.com is a gift card reseller. But Raise differs in an important way from other sites that enable you to buy discounted gift cards.
What sets Raise apart is how quickly they deliver their eGift cards. Raise states that while you should allow up to 24 hours for email delivery, most eGift cards are delivered instantly. In my experience the cards arrive in my inbox within 2 minutes of my purchase.
The Benefits of Fast eGift Card Delivery
Such swift delivery makes all the difference. Here’s why:
1. Just-in-Time Discount
It has long been possible to buy gift cards—including eGift cards—at a discount for future use. But oftentimes those gift cards are delivered slowly, whether by mail or a day or so later by email.
But it isn’t always realistic to plan a purchase that far in advance.
The swift delivery of eGift cards through Raise erases that problem. You just buy the eGift card right before your purchase. That eliminates the need to plan ahead while still netting you a nice discount.
2. No Unused Gift Card Funds
When buying discounted gift cards for a future purchase, it can be tough to know what denomination to buy. If you buy too big a denomination, you end up with funds left over on the gift card. If you buy too small a denomination, you fail to maximize the possible discount.
Once again, the quick delivery of Raise’s eGift cards removes that problem.
When shopping online, you can know the exact purchase price. Then you buy the Raise eGift card. Then, when it arrives by email a minute or two later, you can use it to complete your purchase. Imagine, for instance, you are about to make a $200 online purchase at J.Crew. Just before doing so, you purchase a J.Crew eGift card from Raise for $176, a 12% discount. You then check out at J.Crew using the eGift card. You just saved a quick $24.
Most Raise eGift cards (those marked with the “Voucher” icon) can also be redeemed in store. Say you are shopping at Toys”R”Us. As you walk toward the front of the store, you estimate the cost of the items you are about to buy. You browse to Raise.com on your phone or use the Raise app and purchase a Toys”R”Us eGift card that will cover most of the purchase at, say, an 8% discount. By the time you reach the checkout counter, the gift card has arrived by email. You present the digital voucher to the cashier and check out.
Taking the Discount One Step Further
If you want to milk this strategy for all its worth, you should go through a shopping portal to Raise.com before buying your eGift card.
As I explained in this post, shopping portals give you cash back (or airline miles, hotel points, etc.) for clicking through them to the store from which you are going to make your purchase.
Here are the top shopping portal payouts for Raise.com as of the time of this post, courtesy of Cashback Monitor:
For reasons I don’t need to get into here, I personally would go through the British Airways shopping portal to Raise.com.
But let’s say you were to choose one of the 2% cashback portals. And let’s say the Raise eGift card you wanted had a face value of $100 and was being sold for $90, a 10% discount. In that case, the math on your savings would be:
- $100 purchase made using $90 Raise eGift card = $10.00 savings
- $90 Raise eGift card bought through 2% cash back shopping portal = $1.80 savings
- Total savings = $11.80
- Total savings as a percentage of the goods ultimately purchased = 11.8% (i.e., $11.80/100.00)
Raise + Portal = Average of 15% at 640 Stores
As of the time of this post, Raise is listing discounted eGift cards to 640 stores. I took the best offer (highest % off) for eGift cards to each of those stores. I then calculated that the average discount across the 640 stores is 13.2%.
I then assumed that you were to go through a 2% cashback shopping portal to purchase those eGift cards. When doing so, the end result works out to an average of 15% off.
Finally, I did the same calculation for just the 40 stores whose eGift cards Raise says are most popular. The end result, after taking into account both Raise’s own discount and the shopping portal, is 9.2% off.
Is Raise.com + Shopping Portal Worth It?
When you make a purchase with gift cards (or cash) rather than with credit cards, you forgo the purchase protections that many credit cards offer. I personally feel comfortable forgoing those purchase protections at most of the stores to which Raise sells discounted gift cards, but it is a factor worth considering.
Going through a shopping portal to buy discounted eGift cards from Raise can easily save you in the ballpark of 10% on purchases at many common stores.
Let’s say that doing so takes you 5 minutes more than not doing so. And let’s say your average purchase is $50, meaning that the discount you are getting is $5 (i.e., 10% of $50).
In that case, you are saving $1 per minute (i.e., $5 in 5 minutes). As I describe in this post, saving $1/minute or $60/hour is a good deal unless you make more than $120,000/year.
Question: Have you ever bought a discounted gift card prior to making a purchase? If not, do you think you’ll give it a try now? You can leave a comment by clicking here. And if you liked this post, sign up here so that you never miss a future post.