Have you ever received a gift card you know you’ll never use? Your gifter probably had the best intentions, but there’s no worse feeling than this unuseful, plastic currency gathering dust in your wallet (especially when it’s time to pay rent). Whether you need the actual cash more than the gift card or you just don’t shop at the store, don’t fret just yet: You have options.
Gift card kiosks
Need cash now? Your best bet might be an instant, in-person option. Maybe you’ve seen a Cardpool kiosk, the gift card equivalent of Coinstar, at your local grocery store. Here’s how they work: You bring a gift card you’re not going to use, the machine pays you up to 92 percent of the card’s value, and then it resells the card to someone else. Find a kiosk near you here.
Cardpool also offers cashiers in stores (many Target electronics departments will buy gift cards!) to facilitate the exchange. Just make sure you bring your ID and a debit or credit card with you (for fraud prevention purpose) and double check that your local kiosk or cashier accepts your gift card.
Online gift card exchanges
If there’s not a kiosk option near you, take to the internet. Many websites offer the opportunity to exchange your physical or e-gift card for cash.
Probably the most popular option, Cardpool‘s website boasts exchange rates of up to 92 percent, paid by check, or you can opt for an Amazon gift card, which may earn you up to 6 percent more. You can also go consignment style and list your card on an online marketplace, then wait for a buyer—which may get you a little bit more money.
For example, a $50 Target gift card made an instant payment of $40.50, and Card Star recommended a marketplace listing of $43.00. The Amazon gift card option for a $50 Target gift card was $43. (But let’s be honest: You’re probably not exchanging a Target gift card).
Online marketplace Raise functions similarly. A $50 Target gift card could potentially reap a payment of $41.80, just a hair more than the Cardpool sale. Another bonus: Raise also offers the option to get paid by direct deposit or PayPal, which may be more convenient than waiting for a check (especially if you’re strapped for cash). However, Raise only offers the consignment marketplace money, so you don’t make money until your gift card actually sells.
GiftCash, which claims potential exchange rates of up to 93 percent, offered $43 for the $50 Target Gift card, the most of any of the other sites. This site also takes store credit gift cards, and offers more options for payment, including cryptocurrency if you’re into Bitcoin.
Gift Card Granny
If you want to find the highest trade-in value quickly, Gift Card Granny will aggregate them for you. When you enter the gift card store and value, the sites generates a list of “offers” from either gift card exchange sites (including Cardpool) for you to choose from.
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