How to Free Up Cash in Gift Cards
Gift cards make great gifts. They are easy to buy, easy to mail, and fit every size. The problem comes when cash is more of a necessity than the gift card you may already own. So what can you do with an unwanted gift card? You can’t return it to the store for a refund. Friends wont’ buy it from you and you need cash. There is an option…you can sell it to an online company such as Cardpool or Plastic Jungle for cash. The companies purchase unwanted gift cards from consumers, but don’t expect the full price of the card. Often the companies will buy the cards from you for a discounted price (about 92% of the true value of the card), but provide you cash.
What to Expect When Selling Unwanted Gift Cards
For example, if you have an unwanted Home Depot (very popular) gift card worth $50 you could sell it to Plastic Jungle for 92% of the true value or $46. The company pays for shipping and verifies the amount on the card. Once the process is complete the company will mail you a check for the amount owed to you. If the card you own is for a less popular merchant, you may not get top dollar. The companies may also pass on buying small merchant cards because not many customers will have access to use the cards.
Other Options for Unwanted Gift Cards
Some companies offer exchange programs for gift cards. You can exchange unwanted cards for cards of retailers you want or need for a small fee.
You can donate unwanted gift cards to charity and use the donation for a tax deduction. Confirm with the online company that you will receive a tax donation receipt with each donated card. Use the receipt as verification of your donation on your next tax return. Keep track of the donation using the online Turbo Tax program, It’s Deductible!
Alternative for Cash
Some companies have deals with Amazon.com or PayPal to give you a higher rate of return if you exchange your unwanted gift card and take a credit at one of the merchants in lieu of cash. This may be to your benefit if you were planning on purchasing an item online. You will get more for your card and still be able to choose where the money is placed.
Don’t simply hang on to unwanted gift cards with the thought of using them someday. You may lose them, forget you have them, or they may eventually expire. Sell your gift cards for cash or a more useful merchant.
Do you have any suggestions for trading in unwanted gift cards? What other options do people have? Feel free to post questions, comments, or personal experiences below.