While many of us love gift cards, sometimes they just don’t hit the mark. Maybe you received a gift card to a hardware store but aren’t a DIYer, or you’ve collected several gift cards for fast-food chains yet are trying to eat healthier. These unwanted gift cards may go into a desk drawer and be forgotten for years — or expire.
On the other hand, if you’re willing to invest some time, you can turn your unused gift cards into cash. Read on to learn how.
How to Sell Gift Cards Online
To sell gift cards online, find resale sites that will buy them for close to their face value, says Bethany Hollars, a spokesperson for BrickSeek, a price-checking website. She advises comparing offer prices from several sites to get the highest price for your card. “Most of these sites will also let you trade the gift card instead in exchange for a retailer gift card that you will actually use,” she says, adding: “Don’t forget sites like eBay and Facebook Marketplace, where you can often sell gift cards for just a few dollars below their face value.”
Gift-card resale marketplaces have changed a lot over the years. Some have merged with others. Fighting fraud has hurt many, and some haven’t survived the pandemic. Still, here are eight websites and apps to sell unused gift cards online:
With CardCash, you can sell gift cards or you can trade them for a certificate to a retailer where you prefer to shop. As for the selling part, what you earn for your gift card will vary. For example, for a $25 Target card, you can expect to receive an offer of around $20. Generally, you can receive up to 92% of the card’s value; you’ll never get the full 100%.
Like other sites for selling gift cards, GiftCash allows you to simply type in the card you want to sell and how much it’s worth to receive an offer. Generally, if the gift card is for a popular store like Target or Best Buy, you’ll probably get most of what the card is worth — somewhere in the high 80% range or low 90% range. At the time of this writing, GiftCash was offering a payout of 94% for a Costco gift card.
GiftCash accepts cards with a minimum value of $25 and will go as high as $2,000.
With Raise, you are the one who sets the price of your gift card. It’s free to list your card, and if someone purchases it, you’ll give Raise a 15% commission. You can sell gift cards with partial balances, but any physical gift card has to have at least $10 on it. An eGift card must have at least a $5 balance. All gift card balances must be under $2,000.
ClipKard has a quote tool that will reveal whether your card will be accepted and how much it’s worth. If you agree to the amount, you’ll send your gift card to ClipKard using a prepaid USPS shipping label. You can upgrade to priority shipping, but the added expense will come out of the money you receive. And whether you sell or buy a gift card here, you’ll earn reward points. If you buy or sell gift cards worth $50, you’ll get 50 points, for example. After you earn 1,000 points, you can cash them in for a $10 discount on future purchases.
On Gameflip, gamers can, among other things, buy and sell gift cards. You’ll find gift cards from brands like Amazon and Starbucks, and also from places like Google Play, PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. You don’t have to be a gamer to use this site, but it helps. If you sell or buy a gift card here, you’ll make a Gameflip profile then list your gift card along with how much you’re willing to sell it for. Gameflip suggests discounting your gift card at 2% to 15% of its value and will take a cut of the listing price, an 8% commission and a 2% digital fee if applicable. If you sell your gift card, the money will be transferred into your Gameflip wallet. At that point, you can withdraw it using digital payment systems.
If you’ve never heard of Wise, Payoneer, Skrill or Bitcoin, this is your chance to learn.
[SEE: 10 Best Money-Saving Apps.]
The MI stands for Michigan, where the company is based.
QuickcashMI is a pretty easy website to use. It will buy gift cards from a list of brands including JCPenney, IHOP and Amazon.
You enter the amount on the gift card, and QuickcashMI will tell you how much it will pay. The amount tends to depend on the brand (which is common among gift-card reselling websites). For instance, a $100 gift card to Zappos may net less cash than a $100 gift card to Amazon.
GiftCardBin no longer allows you to sell gift cards through its website, but you can go to a map on the site and type in your ZIP code. If one of its 600 partner locations is near you, you simply bring in your gift card and a valid form of identification and get cash for your gift card.
With the CardSell app, once you share your gift card information and it’s verified with the retailer, you’ll make the sale and will get cash deposited into your PayPal account within 48 hours.
Regift Your Gift Cards
Not interested in selling your unwanted gift cards? Consider giving them away. This could be a great way to save on birthday gifts or holiday gifts.
“If there’s someone in your life who you know would use the gift card, save yourself some money come Christmastime by regifting the card to them,” Hollars says. “This saves you money right off the top by eliminating one entry from your holiday shopping list.”
Donate Gift Cards
Another option is to put your unwanted gift cards toward a good cause. CardCash, for example, will donate them to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
You may also want to check out CharityChoice, which will allow you to turn your gift card into a donation for 1,000 or so charities. It takes 10% of the donation for marketing and administrative costs, but it’s a nonprofit organization, so that may not bother you.
Gift Card Bank is another nonprofit (started during the pandemic) that specializes in taking unwanted gift cards for food and clothing and giving them to people in financial distress.
Can You Return Gift Cards?
Like unwanted gifts, consumers can sometimes return unwanted gift cards to the stores where they were purchased and get the money back. But as you would expect, the answer is often no.
“Retailer policies differ on the return of store gift cards,” Hollars says. “Some retailers won’t accept their return at all, whereas others will only issue store credit in their place, which basically means you end up with a second gift card.”
“Some stores, such as Target, will accept gift card returns so long as they are unused and you have the original purchase receipt, which can make for an awkward conversation if you received the gift card as a, well, gift. Your best bet is to read the retailer’s return policy to see if this is a viable option,” she says.
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Update 05/23/22: This story was previously published at an earlier date and has been updated with new information.