Gift cards are a great way to treat somebody special, without presuming to know his or her tastes. But what if you’re at the receiving end of a gift card you do not want or cannot use? It could sit in a drawer in your kitchen for time immemorial. Or it could take up that previously unused slot in your wallet that really needed filling. Or, you could actually get some use out of it by trading it in for cash or a different gift card.
Related: Earn free gift cards on Swagbucks. Earn PayPal cash and free gift cards for taking surveys, searching the web, scanning receipts, cash back shopping rebates, and more.
With the popularity of gift cards, a crop of websites has emerged that will help you offload those unwanted gift cards. Depending on the popularity of the store and what the gift card allows you to buy, you can make back a good portion of the card’s worth on these sites.
The more sought-after the gift card (especially if it can be used for essentials like gas and groceries), and the better-known the brand, the better price you’re likely to get for your card. One of these sites is likely to be your best bet for turning money on a gift card into cash in your bank account.
Some sights even let you choose between getting money back, or a gift card that suits you better. For example, on Cardscash.com you can trade in a $100 Home Depot gift card for $85 cash, or you can trade it for an $87.98 Amazon gift card instead.
Once you’ve decided on a deal, you’ll have to enter the particulars on your gift card – serial number included, and mail it to them. In time you’ll receive your rebate.
This is where a little trust is required: since you have to give the information on the card and mail it before you get any money, there’s a risk that you’ll get ripped off. That’s why you have to make sure you are using a trusted site to make your transaction. Checking outside reviews of the site should set your mind at ease.
Some sites try to offset the risk with money-back guarantees. CardCash builds trust by offering a 45-day buyer protection guarantee for cards you’re trading or buying on the site.
Alternatively, you can auction your card on eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook, or find a mall kiosk or Coinstar machine to redeem your cash on the spot.
Stores don’t generally allow you to trade in or sell gift cards for cash, even stores like Target. Pawnshops may buy your gift card, but you won’t have much of a say in what they’re willing to pay for it. One of the following may be one of your best bets for getting some worth out of your unwanted gift card.
10 best ways to sell a gift card
You can buy gift cards at Gift Card Granny, but you can also search the best places to sell any gift cards you have through the site’s search function. Compare offers to get the top deal. You can also post your gift card and name the price you’d like to get for it. You may wait a bit longer to sell your card this way, but you could fetch a better price.
Card Cash lets you auction off your cards to willing buyers. The site says you can make up to 92 percent of the card’s value on popular gift cards like Starbucks, Apple, Old Navy and CVS. You can also trade gift cards to get a better return on the value of your card. Walmart has teamed up with Card Cash to allow customers to exchange unwanted gift cards with discounted Walmart e-gift cards.
Rather than offering a space to auction your gift cards, GC Spread will actually buy the card from you and lets you negotiate the price they pay you for it. You get paid by check once they receive your card.
Cards for popular brands like Best Buy, Sephora, Bed Bath & Beyond, Macy’s, Sears, and Ikea are featured for rebates of up to 90 percent of the value of the card. GiftCash also allows you to check available balances on the cards in your wallet before you attempt to sell them.
Buy, sell, or trade gift cards on Cardpool. Cardpool buys and sells its cards directly, instead of brokering a sale between two independent parties. In some cases you may not have to send the card at all, relying on the information on the card to complete the deal instead. Get paid through Amazon gift card or by check.
Gift Card Exchange Kiosk Machines
These are often found at grocery stores. Though they used to be owned by Coinstar, it’s not the big, green machine that eats coins that you need. Instead, you’re looking for a computerized kiosk that will read your card and give you money in exchange. You might not get top dollar, but returns should be immediate and you could still receive up to 85 percent of your card’s worth.
This site allows you to auction off your gift card for sale and get offers, or trade your card for another. Your choice! The site also claims you’ll get paid within 48 hours of Card Kangaroo having received your card.
ClipKard pays by check or PayPal deposit for your unwanted cards. Here, though, you also gain rewards for every sale or purchase, which you can use toward a future gift card purchase.
Post your unwanted gift card or store credit on Raise for a selling price of your choice. You can get paid via direct deposit, PayPal, or check.
Popular cards on Gameflip are ones that can be used for – you guessed it – games. Brands like Steam, PSN, Xbox Live, Amazon, iTunes, and Google Play cards are the name of the game on this site, which recommends you set the price 2 to 15 percent lower than the value of the card. Proceeds are deposited into your Gameflip wallet, which can be redeemed when you’re ready.
Online Classified Ads
Kiiji, Craigslist, or other free classifieds sites are a great way to sell any number of things, and gift cards are no different. Use the sites to post an ad for your gift card and the amount you’re charging for it, and wait for the responses to roll in. Seller, or buyer, beware when using these sights to sell or buy cards, because scammers abound. Unlike some of the sites listed above, which provide some protections for the transaction, you have little security if something goes awry with the sale of your card. However, selling gift cards to trusted buyers on these sights might earn you more than on some third party sites.
Use the famed auction site to sell your cards, and get paid out into your PayPal account. Unless you’re an approved third-party retailer, though, you’re going to have to have a physical card to sell.
The best way to sell your unwanted gift cards
Now you know you have some options, find the site that has a market for your gift card and sell it for top dollar, or trade it for something you can actually use.
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