Definition of a Gift Code

While it’s easy lớn think of using gift codes online because you enter the number into lớn a website’s shopping cart or payment system without presenting a physical plastic gift thẻ lớn anyone, most people vì chưng not realize they can sometimes use gift codes in stores as well. In fact, I just saved a bundle on baông xã khổng lồ school supplies by ordering a discount Office Max mã code, taking a screenshot of the code & PIN on my smartphone và using the image lớn pay for merchandise at the cashier.

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While your experience may vary, below are all the ways I’ve sầu successfully used gift card codes at the store.

How to Use a Gift Code

To be clear, a mã code can exist with or without a plastic gift card. If I have a gift thẻ in my wallet, for example, and want to use it online, I enter the gift thẻ number inkhổng lồ a trang web shopping cart lớn make a purchase. If accepted, the thẻ balance is reduced by the sale amount–even though I never swiped the actual thẻ. This is an example of using the number from a plastic gift thẻ. However, if you receive a khuyến mãi via gmail, text message, sản phẩm điện thoại phầm mềm, social media or other electronic delivery, there is no plastic to lớn swipe. That doesn’t mean you absolutely won’t be able to use the mã code at a physical location, it just means the cashier may have lớn key-enter the thẻ number at the register just lượt thích you would enter it on a trang web.Below are three ways you might be able to use gift codes in stores:

1. Print & Carry


An easy way to lớn take a khuyến mãi khổng lồ the store is to lớn print the khuyến mãi information (including the number, dollar amount and PIN) on your printer. I’ve sầu done this two ways. The first is simply by printing the email that contained the gift thẻ number. The second method I used when I didn’t receive sầu the code itself in the delivery, but had to lớn clayên it via a website. After claiming the code online, I used the Snipping Tool to capture a screenshot of the code and skết thúc it to lớn my printer. At the store, I handed the printout to lớn the clerk at the cash register to lớn pay for my purchase.

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2. Take a Picture

Rather than printing the khuyến mãi onto paper, store it as an image on your điện thoại thông minh or media player. When you get to the cash register, hvà your phone to lớn the clerk khổng lồ key enter the numbers, just lượt thích I did at Office Max. When I bought the code, I received an gmail telling me to lớn claim it online via a links. I clicked that links from my phone’s gmail application. When the code displayed, I took a screenshot và saved the image to my phone’s camera roll. Before going khổng lồ the register, I brought the image up on my phone, ready khổng lồ present khổng lồ the cashier.

3. Use Mobile Wallet

Easiest of all, tải về a mobile wallet and enter the mã code into lớn your tài khoản. Some wallets will convert the code to what looks like a digital version of a plastic gift card & some will even display a bar code that scanners can read. If the retailer card you have isn’t part of the ứng dụng, you can still enter the number & PIN for safekeeping và easy payment.

Approaching the Cashier

Gone are the days of asking if customers are paying with “cash, kiểm tra or charge.” When I handed my phone to lớn the cashier at Office Max, he didn’t even flinch. I’ve found cashiers are increasingly comfortable with multiple forms of payment including the paper print-outs, phone images và thiết bị di động apps I’ve used. So don’t be afraid lớn try a khuyến mãi at the store. (Don’t be afraid to lớn send gift codes either! Read my advice on how to skết thúc egift cards.)

How I used a Gift Code to lớn Make a Haul

Another tip is lớn vày all of your shopping in one place. I’ve sầu said this before when regaling my discount gift card triumphs (Read Easter Clothes for Less and Smart Saving on Baông chồng lớn School Clothes) and I’ll say it one more time here. Stores often give sầu out additional savings when your purchase reaches a particular threshold. Although I knew that I could buy school supplies at Target và other stores in my area, I found double-digit savings available with the discount Office Max mã code. So rather than shop around for various giao dịch, I bought a khuyến mãi for over 100 dollars lớn a single store. When I made my initial purchase at 90 dollars, the mobile-friendly cashier handed me a 10 dollar coupon off my next purchase of đôi mươi dollars or more. Given that I had a balance of just under đôi mươi dollars, I now had approximately 30 bucks more to spend. We needed printer paper, so I put a box that cost just over that amount in my cart. Had I shopped around for other savings, I would have missed this giảm giá. All told, I saved 18.5 percent using a discount gift code.

Let me know if you experience anything different. I’ve sầu honestly used gift codes quite a bit & have never had a problem. If you have sầu any khuyến mãi experiences of your own , I would love sầu lớn hear about them. Add a bình luận below or reach out to me on Twitter at