Deals on memory cards

By Mir
November 13, 2006

The lovely Courtney writes:

oh lovely mir,
any idea where i can get the best deal on memory cards for our new digital camera?

Many a bargain hunter scores a great deal on a digital camera only to realize that the included 16 MB card doesn’t hold very many pictures. Oops! And then when you start looking around for a deal on a card, it may seem like your great deal wasn’t so great after all.

Memory is pretty cheap these days. Gone are the days when any savings of $5 or $10 would be enough to entice buyers. Now, the most common promotions on memory are for much more appreciable chunks of money, but in the form of mail-in rebates. Stores like Office Depot and Staples have promos like that all the time.

Me? I’m anti-rebate. It’s too easy for the rebate center to reject your request and too annoying to fight for your money. True, sometimes you mail in your rebate materials and get a check back the way you’re supposed to. But I prefer to avoid the entire process.

If you choose to do a rebate deal, photocopy everything and send your paperwork in via certified mail.

If you’re looking for an outright deal that doesn’t involve rebates, check out the memory cards at Overstockicon. As with everything at Overstock, if they have what you need, you’re likely to find a deal. But they only have what they have. (Obviously.) Their stock changes often, so check back if you don’t find what you need.

And there’s always memory cards at Amazon. Some of them qualify for free shipping. I’d sort by price and do some browsing there.

I also like eCOST (particularly the Bargain Countdown section), and TigerDirect.

In general I would caution against buying a brand you’ve never heard of before. I actually did ask Otto about this (Otto has kind of a lot of cameras) to find out what brands he recommends, and the problem is that I got distracted by his general cuteness and forgot part of his answer. SanDisk and Ridata were two brands he recommended, I believe. Maybe he’ll check in later and tell us what the third brand is that he recommends.

As for speeds and such… well, that depends. If you’re a casual, hobby photographer, you don’t have to worry about that. Speed is an issue if you’ll be taking dozens of frames in a row, or if you’ll be filling up a 2 GB card several times in the course of a day and needing to upload photos pronto. And if you’re that sort of photographer, you’re probably not here asking me where to get a deal. So.

Hopefully that gives you a starting point. I’m sure other folks will chime in with ideas, too. Me, I’m totally planning on just swiping cards from Otto from now on, so I am perhaps not as invested in solving this mystery as I might be, otherwise.

Oh, look over there! Something shiny!


  1. Also, check places like Costco and Sam’s Club. I know Costco just dropped their prices on memory cards for the holiday and their prices weren’t that high to start with…also many retailers are putting them in the black friday sales…to preview the ads go to and do a search for memory cards! Good luck!

  2. Black Friday is the perfect time to buy memory cards. Target will have SanDisk 512 cards for $7.97, and other retailers will have them super-cheap as well.

  3. Just a heads up that eek Technologies often has the cheapest (by far) deals on memory cards through Amazon, but their shipping is completely ridiculous. Check total cost before making a purchase decision!

  4. If you happen to live near a MicroCenter store, they have the best deal I’ve ever seen… $15.99 for a 1 GB card (they also offer a 1 GB flash drive for $15.99).

    I checked their website and it doesn’t look like they offer it online, but if you can get to a store, it’s a score!

  5. Mir is pretty. Impossibly so.

    I agree with EverydaySuperGoddess on Microcenter.

    IF, and it’s a big one, you have a spouse/partner/friend/pet who rides your heiney to no end to make sure your submit that rebate form because seven years ago when you bought our first home computer and you got lazy and waited too long to submit the rebates and lost us $250 (thereby proving Mir’s point on rebates) . . . if you have a s/p/f/p like that, and you have since become quite good at doing rebates because you like your life with said s/p/f/p, then head over to and do some comparison shopping. I bought all of our Kingston SD cards from there, all have worked well, they were dirt cheap, and no problems with rebates. At least not anymore.

  6. LOL @ Chris — you are FUNNY!

  7. Gah, I hate when I write something then do something stupid to lose it. OK, quick recap: I used to be fine with rebates, had a bad experience, am now in avoidance. Photocopying all the stuff is essential, but ultimately proves nothing. Certified mail just shows that they received the envelope.

    The best rebate system out there is at Staples. It is all online using a code from your receipt… NOTHING TO MAIL!

    A store that I like for all computer stuff (including flash memory) is They have decent prices, reasonable shipping and outstanding customer service.

  8. Oh! Sumo! Yes, I forgot all about NewEgg. I like them, too.

Bargain Hunt





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