Gift cards are a great way to give a practical gift! They are a bit more personal than cash, but they also run the risk of not being useful whatsoever. Most of us have a few gift cards sitting around that we know we aren’t going to use and have simply ended up in junk drawers to languish, unused.
According to MarketWatch, we spend over $130 billion on gift cards annually and over $1 billion of those dollars go unused once gifted. Yikes!
So, if you ended up with a few unwanted cards, you might be wondering how to sell those gift cards for cash. Luckily there are plenty of platforms that will securely take your cards for cash or trade in for other retailers. And since there are a variety of trading and payout options, you can make the most of your gift cards.
Sell Your Unwanted Gift Cards
Coinstar Exchange Kiosk
If you are ready to unload your gift cards rather quickly, you can do so at a local Coinstar Exchange Kiosk (not to be confused with a regular Coinstar which only exchanges coins for cash).
The Coinstar Exchange can help you quickly turn in your cards for cash and are usually found at your local grocery store near the front doors.
At a Coinstar Exchange, you can scan your unused gift cards with at least $20 balance on them. After scanning, the kiosk will make you an offer. Usually, you will receive about 60-80% percent of the balance, and so while this is the fastest way to trade them in–it’s not the most cost-effective.
At Gift Card Granny, you can look up your gift cards using the search feature to see what offers can be made for your particular card. If you find a good offer for your gift card, you have a few options on the site. You can sell your card for cash for the best offer and earn up to 92% cash back. It's relatively easy and within a few days, you’ll get your payment.
Additionally, you can try to sell your card for whatever offer you’re willing to take. You can likely earn more than 92% this way, but you might not get a bite as quickly. When you sell and send your gift card, you’ll be paid. Your final option at Gift Card Granny is to trade in your unwanted gift cards for a retailer you might like better. If you want to get the most for your money, trading is your best bet here.
Cardpool.com is one of the most well-known sites to sell gift cards. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, so it’s both popular and very secure. You’ll typically see a 92% return on your card’s value, which is pretty competitive as you’ll see with the other card selling and exchange sites out there.
You can submit your card and accept an offer to send in, and once they receive your card, your payment is processed within 1-2 business days, via check, direct deposit, or PayPal. Out of all the competing sites out there to sell your gift cards, users reported this one was the fastest.
On Raise.com you can list any unwanted card to sell. This process may take a bit longer than other platforms, but for your patience, you may see some higher payouts. When you get a bite on your gift card, you’ll pay a 12% commission, but it is free to list. Your payment comes via PayPal or check.
If you want to trade in some of your partially used gift cards, you can do so at CardCash.com. After signing up for an account you’ll enter a few details to verify your card, and you can then look over offers and accept if desired.
Like the other sites, you can sell your gift card, or exchange it for another retailer you’d want to use. When you accept offers, you’ll receive payment via check or PayPal within a few days. You’ll see about 92% of the value of any gift cards you decide to sell, so it’s on par with other sites.
GiftCardSwapping is a gift card exchange site that is best for any time you don’t mind swapping one retailer for another.
Even though you can sell your gift cards at this site, it doesn't seem to be the best if you want to get the most bang for your gift card buck. You’ll find that you get about 75% of the card’s value, which is far below the redemption offers with some of the other options out there.
You also will encounter some fees selling on this platform, that can really cut into your cash price. To sell with GiftCardSwapping.com, they’ll hit you with a service charge of 90 cents, plus an additional 3.9 percent of the sale price. You won’t be charged any fees for swapping, so it can be a great deal if you want to trade a card in for another retailer.
There are plenty of options out there to swap or sell your unwanted gift cards online. Beware some sites have a variety of hidden fees or have notoriously slow payouts. It's important to do a few searches to weigh your options before you utilize a site to sell your gift cards.
In the research for this article, these sites proved to be the top recommended and most trusted websites to use to trade in or sell your gift cards. If there’s a site you have used and really loved, let us know so we can add to this list for others in the FI community.
Now put those unused gift cards to good use!