How to turn unwanted gift cards something more desirable

Now that the holidays are officially over and the post-holiday returns and shopping are concluded, I am at a loss for what to do with those gift cards to stores that I do not shop at. Aside from just regifting the card, there are other options available. You may sell your gift card to others in exchange for cash or other gift cards through online gift card exchanges.

  1. Sell It

Fortunately, some companies have made a business model out of buying your unwanted gift cards. Cardpool is a website that buys and sells gift cards. According to the Washington Post, Cardpool purchases gift cards by check or Amazon egift card from $0.75-$0.90 per dollar depending on the popularity of the store associated with the gift card.

2. Exchange It

Now, you may just trade cards with friends, the way people used to trade collectible cards (like baseball and Pokémon cards). However, the cards available for trade may not be what you are looking for.

In a, somewhat, riskier option, you may join a gift card exchange, like the one found on reddit. The risks may seem obvious: you send the gift card and do not get your gift card. However, the way reddit structures the trades, it appears they have a high success rate. Through the use of a review system, experienced traders appear with higher reviews and higher numbers of trades associated with their account. While there may be difficulty in getting your first few trades completed, once you get started, it can be a convenient location to exchange your gift card for the exact payment type you desire.

3. What is my gift card worth?

So you decide to sell or exchange the gift card for your unique store’s gift card, say the Sockmarket, how much is that card worth compared to an Amazon gift card?

Again, there are resources out there which tell the going rates for these gift cards. Cardpool will tell you a rate compared to cash, but the reddit exchange does not have a stock-market-like screen with all the gift card values on them. Gift exchanges are considered free-markets, so you may post your gift card and what you may want, say 80% Amazon in exchange for your $50 sock market gift card, which would mean you trade your $50 gift card for $40 Amazon gift card. All you need to do is wait for a message from someone interested or a counteroffer.

It would be a good idea to check the sale sites before the exchanges because it can give a price floor for your gift card. Why take the risk of the exchange if you can get the same price from a retailer, which buys gift cards for cash. After all, cash is always king!

4. Philanthropic Alternative

If this all sounds like too much effort for a gift card you just want out of your house, but you feel bad for throwing away something that is essentially money.

Good News! You can donate your gift cards to a charity of your choice. On websites like CharityChoice, you may send the balance of your gift card to a charity of your choice. Not only do you get to help your favorite charity, you get a tax receipt!

5. Take Action

Now you know some of the good options available to you! There is no longer an excuse to let those unused gift cards pile up and expire, and yes, gift cards expire!

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