Wallet Hacks

How to Get an Instant 20% Return on Investment

It's the holidays and you know what that means?

Gift card purchase bonuses!

A gift card purchase bonus is when the store gives you a small gift card in return for you buying a bigger one. Like a $5 gift card for you when you purchase a $25 gift card for a friend.

There's no rule that says you can't buy them for yourself. You spend $25 for a gift card, you get $5 free. That's an immediate 20% risk-free return on investment… can't beat that with a stick.

Companies love gift cards because they get guaranteed money and they get it right now. You, as the proud gift card holder, will spend it sometime in the future. That time in between now and later, the store will turn that into even more money ($146 million more, in Starbucks' case).

There are a handful of stores, usually restaurants, that I know we visit often enough for this to be worth it. We go to Noodles and Company once every 4-6 weeks. The kids enjoy it, we enjoy it, and they serve wine and beer. 🙂

I just got the following email from Noodles & Company:

Instant 20% return!

The only gotcha to watch for are the terms of the bonus. The bonus often has a short time limit and other terms. In the Noodles & Company case, you can only use it in January of next year. Not a big deal for $5 but if you bought a lot of them, you might be hard-pressed to use them in a single month.

Finally, you often need to be subscribed to the store's email list or membership to get an offer. Sometimes they advertise the bonus, sometimes they don't. They always email their lists though.

Are you going to take advantage of these offers? If so, which ones?