During the holidays (and at other times throughout the year) it’s very common to be given gift cards.
While gift cards to stores, websites, and restaurants that you like are almost as good as cash, gift cards that you won’t use can seem worthless.
What are your options when a friend, family member, or co-worker gives you a gift card that you don’t want?
- Use it anyway
- Let it go to waste
- Re-gift it to someone else
- Sell it for cash
- Trade for another gift card
That’s right, you can get cash for your unwanted gift cards. Although you may have no use for the gift card, it could be very valuable to someone else.
There are a number of websites that allow you to list and sell your unwanted gift cards at discounted rates or sell them instantly. Some of these websites also allow you the option to trade your gift card for another gift card, which can often result in a better value than selling for cash.
Even if you get a gift card to a store, website, or restaurant that you like, you may want to consider selling it if you don’t have an immediate use for it. Most gift cards do not have expiration dates (some do), which is typically a good thing. However, the lack of an expiration date can lead to a lack of urgency, and many gift cards go unused. It’s very easy to forget about a gift card, or lose it.
Plus, the gift card is only good as long as that company is in business. If you’d been saving up Toys “R” Us gift cards, hopefully you used them while you had the chance.
For those reasons, it’s usually best to use a gift card quickly or sell it before it gets lost, forgotten, or becomes worthless.
A Few Important Things To Note About Selling Your Gift Cards
Before we get into the details of how to sell your gift cards, there are a few important things that I want to point out.
1. You Won’t Get Face Value
First of all, you need to understand that you’re not going to get the face value of the gift card in cash. You can sell your unwanted gift cards because other people are willing to buy gift cards at discounted rates. It’s safer and sometimes easier to just buy an item or a gift card directly rather than by going through a third-party, so the discount is the incentive that leads someone to buy a gift card from you.
While you won’t get $50 in cash for your $50 gift card, even getting $40 or $45 in cash is better than letting the gift card go unused, or using the gift card to buy something that you don’t want or need.
2. The Websites Will Take A Small Cut
If you are selling your gift card through a website (we’ll talk about several of these websites in just a minute), the website will take a cut of the money in some way. It could be a percentage of the sale price or they may buy it from you at a lower price and sell it at a higher price. Regardless, you will have to share a small part of the revenue with the website, and you need to take that into consideration.
3. Some Gift Cards Are More Valuable Than Others
There is a greater demand for gift cards to certain stores, websites, and restaurants than others. That means that you may get a higher or lower percentage of the face value, depending on the gift card that you are selling.
There are some gift cards that can be used by just about anyone. For example, most people could easily find a use for an Amazon or Walmart gift card. However, other gift cards may only appeal to a smaller number of people.
Best Ways To Sell Your Unwanted Gift Cards
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best options for selling those gift cards that you are not going to use.
Check Gift Card Wiki
Gift Card Wiki is a really useful site that provides a lot of data related to the value of gift cards. You can’t buy or sell gift cards directly on this site, but you can check the rates available at many other sites (some of those sites will be covered below).
For example, if you have a Target gift card that you want to sell, you can get some helpful information about the rates at several sites. As of the day this article is being written, you could sell a Target gift card for up to 81% of face value.
Family and Friends
Before selling your gift cards through a website, think about your family and friends. Do you know someone who might be interested in this gift card? There are a few reasons why you should consider this before selling through a website:
- Re-Gifting May Be an Option. Maybe you know someone else who would love the gift card that you received, and you could give it as a gift to them in the near future.
- You May Be Able to Avoid Fees. If you sell a gift card to someone you know, you’ll keep 100% of the selling price. If you sell through a website, you’ll pay a fee or a percentage of the sale as commission. It’s very possible that you could make more money and still offer a better price by cutting out the middle man.
- Friends and Family Trust You to Sell a Legit Gift Card. Part of the reason that gift cards lose some of their value is the risk factor for the buyer. Some websites offer money-back guarantees, but that doesn’t necessarily remove all of the hesitancy from someone who may be interested in buying the card. Many people will feel safer buying a gift card from someone they know and trust.
Raise.com is one of the most popular websites for buying and selling discounted gift cards. There are several reasons why buyers love Raise. including a big selection of cards available and a one-year money-back guarantee.
As a seller, it’s free to list your gift cards on Raise and you can set your own price. Of course, you’ll want to check and see what other people are selling similar gift cards for in order to have the best chance of selling yours and getting a good price. When your card sells, Raise will keep 15% of the selling price and pay you 85%. If you are selling a physical gift card there is also a fee of $1 or 1% (whichever is greater) to cover the cost of shipping.
You’ll be paid by direct deposit, check, or PayPal.
One interesting thing about Raise is that you can also sell store credit in addition to gift cards.
CardPool.com is another leading website for buying and selling gift cards, but there are some key differences between CardPool and Raise.
When you sell on Raise you will set your own price and Raise takes 15% of the sale. To sell at CardPool, you’ll enter the details of the card you have (the merchant and the amount) and CardPool will show you the payout that they offer. If you accept the offer, CardPool will pay you right away. That means you don’t need to wait for someone to buy your card in order to get paid.
You’ll have a choice of being paid with a digital Amazon gift card, which is typically delivered within 1 business day, or by check, which will typically arrive in 5-10 business days.
Another interesting thing about CardPool is that you can sell your gift cards in person at one of their many locations. They have kiosks as well as partner locations where you can sell through a cashier. For example, in my town, I could take gift cards to the local Target’s electronics department and they will process the transaction for CardPool. That’s a really unique feature that competitors cannot offer at this time. You can easily find locations near you through CardPool’s website.
CardPool says that it pays up to 92% of the face value of your gift card, but of course, that depends on the details.
CardCash.com is another website like Raise and CardPool for buying or selling gift cards.
When you’re looking to sell cards, CardCash works similar to CardPool. You’ll enter the details of your gift card and they will make you an offer. Like CardPool, CardCash claims to pay up to 92% of the value.
One interesting factor that sets CardCash apart from both Raise and CardPool is the option to trade. If you like the offer that CardCash makes, you can choose to be paid with cash, or you can accept a trade for another gift card. If you’re interested in trading, you’ll be able to choose from several different options, and you’ll get up to 11% more with the trade as compared to cash. Trading for a card that you’ll actually use can be a great way to maximize the value.
GiftCardGranny.com is a marketplace for buying and selling gift cards. GiftCardGranny doesn’t actually buy your gift cards, but you can enter the brand and the remaining balance and GiftCardGranny will show you relevant offers that you could get at a few different websites.
As a result, it may be able to help you save a little bit of time while looking for the best price.
GiftCardSpread.com works differently than any of the other websites listed above. When you want to sell a gift card to them, you’ll enter the details of your card (merchant, value, and physical or digital) and you’ll tell them how much you want to be paid for the gift card. Within 24 hours, they’ll get back to you. They’ll either accept your offer or make a counteroffer.
Their FAQ page says they typically pay between 60% – 90% of the value. If you come to an agreement with GC Spread, you’ll be paid by check.
Sell Your Gift Cards Instead Of Letting Them Go To Waste
As you can see, there are several different ways to sell or trade your unwanted gift cards.
Instead of letting them go to waste or holding on to them so long that you forget about them (or lose them), consider these options and see what might be best for you.