Have you ever received a gift card that just isn’t for you? If you look into your wallet right now, will you find unused funds on a gift card? (or multiple!) You are not alone! According to a study done by GiftCards.com (YouGov Survey in 2018), 29% of people surveyed said they have received a gift card that they never used. In 2015, it was calculated that there were almost $1 billion in unused funds left on gift cards in that year alone!
I know that when I get a gift card to a store I really like, I typically use it right away. So my guess is that many of these funds are associated with unwanted gift cards. The good news is that there are several things you can do with your unwanted gift card (besides using it of course.)
5 Things To Do With Unwanted Gift Cards (and how to turn them into cash!)
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Sell Unwanted Gift Cards for Cash (online)
There are several places where you can sell your gift card for cash. Note, that it’s very unlikely that you will receive the exact dollar amount for your gift card; typically you should be able to sell it for about 60% – 92% of the gift card’s value.
The following sites assist with the selling of your unwanted gift cards. (The benefit to using them is they provide fraud protection, a money-back guarantee, and act as a middle man in the transaction.)
You can also sell direct to another person via social media (i.e. Facebook) or a marketplace-type site. However, you typically do not have the same protections that you would if you used one of the sites above, so they are more risky.
Sell Unwanted Gift Cards for Cash (in person)
Cardpool also has cashiers and kiosks that will trade in your gift card for cash in person. (These can often be found in the same kiosks as Coinstar in your local grocery store.) You can find the location of in-person trade-in sites here. Note that in-person trade-in sites often give you less for your gift card than if you used an online site.
Trade Unwanted Gift Cards for Another Gift Card
Through several of the sites mentioned above, you can trade in your unwanted gift card for another gift card. You can often get a higher return using this approach. (As an example, if you trade in an unwanted gift card on Cardpool and exchange it for an Amazon gift card, your payout may be up to 6% higher than opting for cash.)
Target also offers a gift card trade in program (at select stores) where you can trade in your non-Target gift card for a Target gift card. You can see which stores offer this benefit and which gift cards are included on this site.
Donate to a Charity
Your gift card may be donated to a charity and captured as a tax deduction.
(Legal disclaimer here – do you your own research on what is allowed or talk with your accountant)
Buy Products and Resell
This option may take an extra step, but can even make you some money if you are a smart shopper. Use your gift card to buy a product at a great value and then turn it around to sell it (on Amazon, eBay, or via a marketplace/tag-sale site.)
With all of the options noted above, there are typically some restrictions. Most sites have a minimum value of gift card that is required (typically $20 -$25). Your gift card cannot already be linked to an account (i.e. used iTunes gift cards or Starbucks gift cards), and most sites will not accept gift cards for Visa, or MasterCard.
Related Post: 21 Secrets to Shopping on Amazon.com
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