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One of the mysteries of the universe that I have never truly understood was the intense devotion that some (many?) have to Costco and even the Costco co-branded credit card. I mean, I’ve been to Costco, I’m fine with Costco, but I’ve never been one of the oh-my-god-yes-pull-over-there’s-a-Costco folks. However, right now we are shopping for a (shockingly expensive) new swing set/play area thing and many people recommended checking with Costco after we suffered from sticker shock at Rainbow, so we made a detour into our local Costco yesterday to see what they had to offer.

On the hunt for a new play structure

While I didn’t really see any play structures deals to speak of at Costco, in between scarfing down samples of mixed berry smoothies, organic soup, and losing half of my family for quite a long time in the massive and busy store, I took a look around their gift card section and can at least understand why folks would love that part of the store.

It’s no surprise that Costco has some third-party retailer gift cards available at a discount for Costco members, but this isn’t just a little discount, in some cases there are major discounts on gift cards available both in-store and online. Let’s start with the one that I purchased, two $75 Blue Apron gift cards that have a face value of $150.

We use Blue Apron for a box of delivered indgredients and recipes ready to cook into good meals at least once a month, and the cost normally just gets charged to my credit card they have on file, so historically I have indeed paid $150 for $150 worth of Blue Apron (outside of the first discounted order – I have a few free first delivery invites to send out if you want one). However, at Costco, we paid $89.99 for $150 worth of Blue Apron gift cards, which means we enjoy about a 40% savings on future Blue Apron meals!

That’s the only gift card we added to our already quite expensive Costco cart yesterday, but there were others that caught my attention.

  • $100 in gift cards to Build-a-Bear for $69.99
  • $200 iTunes and App Stores gift card for $164.99
  • $150 in gift cards to iFly for $89.99
  • $100 in gift cards to Buca di Beppo for $69.99
  • $100 gift card to Mattel for $69.99

While we aren’t regular visitors to iFly, we did take C for her 7th birthday last year, and it was a fun way to celebrate her special day.

From memory I think we spent close to $150 to have her and me take a few flights, so dropping that price to about $90 with discounted gift cards would have obviously a better deal and something to keep in mind if we go again in the future.

Naturally, if you have the Costco co-branded Visa then you can also get 2% back by paying for these Costco purchases with that card. Does you family shop Costco for discounted gift cards?


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