Can you buy a Target gift card with another gift card?

by Manshu on March 2, 2010

in Articles

Image by Thai Jasmine

I wrote about how you can’t use an Amazon gift card to buy another gift card some time ago, and today there was a similar question on Target gift cards. I had a feeling they wouldn’t allow you to buy another gift card with one you already have, but didn’t know for sure.

I placed a call to Target’s customer care, and they told me that they too don’t allow customers to buy one gift card with another. It was not too surprising because it looks like almost everyone has this policy in place. I say almost because I assume someone allows this but I am not aware of it.

This situation made me wonder if it’s better to gift people cash instead of a gift card?

I thought of a recent example where a few friends got together and gifted me a Crate and Barrel gift card for the wedding.

One of them told me it is for my wife to buy what she likes for her house, which I thought was kind of cute, but was promptly reminded by people who have been married for longer than I am – that the statement has the added virtue of being true as well, and that is what I should focus on.

But I digress, what I really wanted to say was that I appreciated the fact that they put thought into it, and got me a gift card that we could use to set up our home. Cash worth the same amount would have had more utility (as used in Micro 101), but I prefer getting the gift card rather than the cash.

On another occasion – a few of us got together and got our friend a Macy’s gift card for his wedding anniversary. I am not sure how he felt about it,  though I must confess I have a feeling that he doesn’t feel the same way I did. To be honest, given another chance – I would go for the gift card again, because there is a chance that he might feel we put some thought in it; which will never happen with cash.

I am undecided about this, and have a feeling that I will gift someone cash very soon in the future just to see what kind of a reaction I get, but until then – I’d be interested to hear how you feel about this.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ancella March 3, 2010 at 7:32 am

I think the gift card idea is a great one and comes in very handy, too. For example, many of my friends shop at Macy’s and Kohl’s and when their occasions come along, I would prefer to present them a gift card from these stores (allowing them to choose what they want) rather than buying them something which I am not a 100% sure they would like or keep. This in turn avoids the hassles of the return / exchange routine with gifts.

Another option, especially for Baby Showers and Weddings, are the gift registeries. These are easy to set up and allows the gift giver to purchase items which s/he knows will be appreciated.

I think I will avoid the cash route ..especially since I know (or have an idea) as to what to get my friends :)

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Manshu March 3, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I think a large part of this is also how sure you are that you can get the right thing for your friends.

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Srividhya May 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Hi Manshu,
I am a new reader to your website. I find it fabulous and believe to improve my knowledge on finance through you. Learning from husbands is not great all the time :)

Btw, small comment on this article. Cash gift can be used for any purpose rather than the compulsory spending at the store caused by gift card. I do believe in cash gifting for larger amounts.

Keep up the good work

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J August 28, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Personaly i would rather have the cash. i know that you can say with a gift card they put some “thought” into it but the only thing that they thought about was a store that carries thousands of things. so pretty much they only narrowed it down to a few thousand things to get you. so really all it is saying is you have to buy something for yourself at this place. if they dont know what to get me im fine with it but give me the cash and i can buy what i want where i want. i almost rather have the cash than even a gift most times, i know that people have good intentions but it seems that most times i open a present i have to pretend that im excited about something that i know is going to do nothing but take up space and collect dust.

there was one time that i had wished that people did give me gift cards instead, my wife and i had our wedding reception back in her home state and my son, father and sister came along as well. we had rented a big suv so we had plenty of room, untill we got all of our gifts (now we had registered so 90% of the stuff we actually wanted) but the 3,000 mile trip home was pretty cramped had people went and picked out a gift and put the amount for that item on the card and said go buy this it would have been a much better trip home

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Sandra December 25, 2010 at 8:14 pm

It’s christmas time and I have recieved a few gift cards. My dilema is that if I got something at a particular store and did not see anything I liked, I am stuck not spending it and that person has wasted his/her money, Example: I have a newborn at home and my brother sent a $50.00 gift card to Toys R Us. Have you seen their prices? Almost any decent baby item cost more than that. Doesn’t it take the whole them buying it out, if I have to put in the money to get it? My advice is to either buy one of those Visa/Mastercard gift cards that only has a small one time fee plus your amount that they can use whenever and where ever they want. Or a gift card to somewhere like wal-mart where they have a littleof everything at good prices and that way they might be able to buy more of what they need rather than stuck with one item. As for cash, too easy to lose and can’t be replaced so you just spent your hard working money for nothing.

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Manshu December 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

Thanks for your comment Sandra – you could try selling these off on eBay. You could keep a reserve price so that card doesn’t go away for a price lower than what you have in mind.

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J May 5, 2011 at 10:39 am

I hate gift cards. I always get one that has say $20 on it and after spending $17.49 have a stray balance of $2.51 that I must spend at least another $10 or so to actually use. In California gift cards can be redeemed for cash if they have a value of $9.99 or less. If giving money, skip the gift card and just write a check!

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hannah August 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm

I know you said that you can’t buy another giftcard with a Target giftcard, but I know you can. I have. I bought an iTunes giftcard with a Target giftcard. I had no employees say anything.

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