Posted byon October 8, 2012
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Anytime I can pick up gift cards with a nice discount or prepaid cards from a sign up bonus, I do. After the $3,000 Credit Card Application Spree, I redeemed lots of points for discounted gift cards with American Express Points and Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.
In addition, I also have a bunch of American Express Prepaid Cards from the recent bonus offers.
Add those to the gift cards I buy with my American Express 6% Cash Back card, and my stack of various gift cards and prepaid cards with varying account balances is growing and becoming harder to keep track of.
While I write the amounts on the front in black marker, there has to be a better way to manage all the cards, right?
Add all of your gift cards to your GoWallet account and you can track the balances on all the cards in one place:
Cost. It’s free.
Features. You can access the account as an app on your phone, or login to your account from your computer. You create a personal PIN, so that someone who uses your phone can’t access your cards. GoWallet stores the gift card expiration dates too, so you can remember to use your cards before they expire.
Gift Cards. GoWallet supports retailer gift cards and prepaid gift cards from Visa, MC, Amex and Discover. It’s not for credit cards!
Barcodes. Ideally, you don’t have to carry the gift cards, as you can use your phone to display the gift card barcode. I haven’t used this option yet, so I can’t confirm how well it works.
Here are some of the things I’m hoping GoWallet (or another product) can improve on in the future:
Automatic updating. Some of my American Express gift cards aren’t automatically updating. Hopefully, they’ll improve it and make it easier for use in the future.
Tracking Other Programs. I’m still using AwardWallet to track other things like loyalty programs and frequent flyer miles. It would be nice if there was one program to combine the gift cards with the other programs too!
Opportunity Costs. Since I feel like gift cards are a whole alternative currency we need to maximize the use of spending them. For example, buying a discounted gift card for gas doesn’t make much sense unless the discount is more than the cash back you’ll earn with the Pen Fed Platinum VISA 5% cash back on gas.
Stay tuned for my list of all of my sources of discounted gift cards. It will come in handy as we get ready to head into holiday gift card season!