For any chain stores we patronize regularly, I try to buy gift cards at a discount on the secondary market. Cardpool and Plastic Jungle both sell below value gift cards.* The balance on the gift cardsis verified by the seller, and they ship out quickly via USPS. I have used both sites extensively without a problem (and they aren't paying me to write this.) I usually check both sites, and purchase from the one that offers the high discount on a particular vendor's card. Currently, I buy Target gift cards at 6% off face value to stret our grocery budget. Since CodeMonkey frequently uses Starbucks to work or meet clients, I buy their gift cards at 15% off and transfer the balance to his Starbucks account. If we were in the position of needing to buy either of us a large work wardrobe again, I'd definitely look to these sites first, as certain clothing store gift cards seem to go for 20% off face value. When you combine that with sales and discount codes, the savings can be substantial.
*If you have unwanted gift cards lying around the house, they'll buy those too, at a percentage below face value.