What the Tech? What to Do with Gift Cards You Don’t Want
By JAMIE TUCKER Consumer Technology Reporter
Gift cards may be popular for givers during the holidays, but for many of the people getting them, they’re easily put away and forgotten.
According to CreditCards.com, there is approximately $21 billion in unused gift cards gathering dust in junk drawers, wallets, on top of the refrigerator, or just lost.
You might want to go look through the junk drawers and on top of the fridge; to see if you find any unused gift cards. Most don’t expire. Even if you never darken the door of the store where it comes from, you may be able to exchange it for cash.
Several websites help you sell unused gift cards. Raise and Card Cash are two of the longest-operating and most popular exchanges.
They’re an exchange where people can buy gift cards at a discount from people who won’t use them.
Visit their websites and select the store where the gift card is from. Then, enter the amount. Each of these gift card exchanges will show you what it’ll sell for.
But it depends on supply and demand. Gift cards from certain stores are worth more than cards from other stores.
A $50 Lowes gift card listed on Raise, might sell for $48 which is the suggested value on the exchange. Raise charges a 15% fee on top of what you sell it for. You get paid when your card sells through Paypal or direct deposit.
If you want to sell it fast, Card Cash will buy the gift card but will pay less. You can sell the $50 Lowes gift card immediately if you’re willing to accept around $40 for it. Or, you can trade it for a card from another retailer for a little more. Exchange the $50 gift card for about $41 in an Amazon or Walmart gift card.
Both CardCash and Raise have B ratings from the Better Business Bureau. But there are multiple complaints from customers of both companies.
If you want to sell or exchange gift cards directly with no fees, there are Gift Card Exchange communities on Reddit.
If you go that route though, you’ll have to give the buyer the card’s serial number and pin number which is what they need to use it before paying for it. You’ll need to do some background on the buyer to avoid scams.
Card Cash and Raise confirm the value before giving the information to the buyer.
You won’t get the full value by selling or exchanging your unused gift card, but it’ll be better than letting them sit in a drawer forever.
Or, look for a local charity that gladly accepts a gift card as a donation.
Before listing your gift card on one of the exchanges it’s suggested to verify how much money is on it by visiting the retailer’s website.