1. Sell Your Unused Gift Cards for Cash

There are websites available that will enable you to sell your gift cards for something very close to its face value. One such site is GiftDeals.com. The site advertises that it will get you the highest price for your gift cards when you sell through the site. They also promise that they “only work with the most reputable resellers to provide top-notch service and prompt payment.”

Once on the site, you simply need to enter the merchant or store on your gift card to see which exchange site will offer you the most money. Just exactly how much you can sell a gift card for through the site will depend on the merchant (which determines the popularity of the card).

For example, gift cards to a popular retailer like Target will fetch as much as $90 for a $100 card. But a $100 gift card to a much more highly specialized retailer, like Bass Pro Shops will get no more than $78.

Still another site where you can sell your unwante

Still another site where you can sell your unwanted gift cards is Gift Card Granny. There you can sell hundreds of popular (and not so popular) gift cards, and providing you with the option to either redeem the proceeds by mail, or online.

The site advertises that the most popular gift cards can fetch as much as $92 (on a $100 gift card), which is seriously close to the full face value, and they offer free shipping too.

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9. Get Your Cash

Now all that’s left is to get your money! Take the Gift Card Exchange receipt to the customer service counter or to a cashier who will scan the receipt and give you cash in return! It’s that easy! Take a gift card you don’t want and turn it into cash that can be spent anywhere in a matter of minutes.

6. Return the Gift Card to the Issuing Retailer

This is usually the preferred way to deal with unwanted gift cards. But the complication is that not all issuers make it easy to do.

Here are some of the possible outcomes of returning gift cards to the issuing retailer:

  • The retailer may exchange the card for cash, but at a discounted rate. For example, the issuer may refund 90% or less of the face value of the card.
  • The issuer they refuse to accept a return of the gift card unless you have the purchase receipt. This can be awkward anytime you are returning a gift, including a gift card.
  • The issuer may provide an in-store credit, which will do you very little good if you don’t shop at their outlets in the first place.

Emma Johnson of WealthySingleMommy.com recommends that before you attempt to return a gift card to the issuer, that you first go back to the person who gave you the gift, and request the receipt. It will open up more options for you.

Failing that, she recommends that you investigate the issuers gift card return policy first.

“Check the return policy of the issuer before attempting a return,” Emma advises. “You can usually do this by going to the issuer’s website.”

2. Check the Shape of your Gift Card

When you get to the Gift Card Exchange machine, you’ll either have to swipe your gift card so the machine can read the magnetic stripe or you’ll have to hold the bar code up to a scanner. There is no way to key in the card number. If your gift card is an odd shape, too big, too small, has cut-outs, or is a printout of an electronic gift certificate, you might not be able to see it at the kiosk.

How we found the best gift card exchange websites

We went through every part of these gift card exchange websites to see how well they work and whether they’re worth your time. We bought gift cards from leading retailers and found out how much we could get in return for selling them. We also checked out how big the discounts were on cards available for purchase from top brands. When it was an option, we also downloaded the app to make sure it worked as advertised and while the majority of gift cards out there are digital, we also looked at shipping rates for shoppers looking for a physical gift card.

The number and variety of retailers you can buy gift cards on exchange websites changes all the time. Instead of trying to keep our thumb on how many individual retailers were available, we searched for three big players –  American Eagle, Macy’s and Walmart – at the same time on the same day across all the websites we tested. We then assigned a letter grade corresponding to whether the website had cards available for purchase from those retailers.

We also used the Better Business Bureau to make sure these gift card exchange websites are legitimate. The BBB is a consumer watchdog group which assigns ratings A+ through F to companies based on information from business and customer complaints. These ratings aren’t a guarantee, but they’re helpful in seeing whether businesses and websites have had consistent problems or consumer complaints.

Why did we not list Cardpool?

The reason we can’t recommend Cardpool is that it has an F rating with the BBB, the lowest rating they give. Definitely worth taking into account! We read many reviews that suggested Cardpool did not send out cards or pay the proper amount when purchasing from sellers. As such, we cannot recommend this site, but you are obviously free to consider it.

One of Cardpool’s main advantages is its one year guarantee. Unlike competitors such as CardCash, who only guarantee for 45 days. Cardpool also gives you the option of being paid in Amazon gift cards: a unique offer among the companies we reviewed. We particularly liked the Cardpool app, which gives you access to a digital wallet and allows you to buy gift cards on the go; maybe even while waiting in line at checkout. You can pay in-store directly from your phone and get your shop for less. 

One disadvantage is the app is only available on the Apple App Store. Popular stores see lower discounts. However, it’s still a good way to save a few bucks if you’re making a bigger purchase and it’d add up over time. We saw much bigger discounts on other retailers such as American Eagle, which offered a 17% discount.

3. How Will I Get My Discount Gift Card?

SHORT ANSWER: By mail or electronic delivery.

SHORT ANSWER: By mail or electronic delivery.

As I have mentioned a few times now, the value of a gift card is really stored in the gift card code which is a combination of the gift card number, PIN and expiration date (if it’s an open-loop gift card). So you do not really need to receive the physical discount gift card in order to go shopping. Most resellers give you the option to buy physical or digital discount gift cards.

Purchase Verification Delay. Keep in mind that your discount gift card purchase will have to be verified before the gift card or gift code is sent. So although you may initially receive an email telling you that the gift card order has been received, delivery will not begin until payment is verified.

These are the gift card delivery options reported by the resellers listed below.

RaiseThe Raise website does not specify how long it takes to receive a card, but a customer service agent told me that egift vouchers are processed within an hour and physical cards are mailed out within 3-14 days.
Gift Card BinDigital gift cards take up 1-2 business days to post to your GiftCardBin account. The GiftCardBin website does not state when physical gift cards will be delivered.
CardCashDigital gift cards arrive within minutes and typically arrive within 24 hours unless the order is flagged for review. Physical Cards usually ship within 24 – 48 hours of being placed and may take up to 7 days to arrive.

Each reseller has their own fraud protection and security screening procedures. First time buyers may be asked to provide additional verification and/or speak to a customer service representative before an order is shipped. Please read each site’s detailed instructions when making your first purchase and be sure to respond to text messages or phone calls made to the number provided shortly after you place an order.

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Ways To Exchange Gift Cards

Consult the following table to check out the popular gift card exchange methods:

Ways To Trade Gift CardsExplanation
Visiting the nearest gift card exchange kioskTo sell your gift card in person and get cash instantly, you should look for an exchange kiosk in your area
Selling your gift card onlineYou can register for a website dedicated to the sale and purchase of gift cards. Make sure to do thorough research before deciding which website to use—some platforms offer better payouts than others
Trading your gift card for a different oneVarious online platforms enable you to trade the gift card in question for another one (from a different store). You can also head over to your local Target or Walmart and check if they offer store credits in exchange for your gift card

Sell or Swap a Gift Card on CardCash

Want to sell a card instead? At the top of the homepage, click Sell Gift Cards. Type the retailer’s name and the amount to receive a cash offer that’s less than the total value of the card. You can also add additional cards if necessary. 

Either take the money and run or opt to trade it in for another card and score a better deal. If you choose the money, you can get paid via a printed check, ACH direct deposit, or PayPal Express.

The site asks you to add the number and PIN of the card you’re selling, as well as your credit card details to verify your address. You’ll then receive a printable order page with instructions on mailing your gift card.

When to Sell Your Gift Card

Gift card exchanges tend to offer lower resale values immediately after the holidays, warns Romanelli. “There is so much supply coming into the market that many cards don’t sell for as high as they might in the summer,” he says. He notes that some people hold on to their gift cards for an extra month or so, in order to earn a few percentage points more in returns.

Just make sure you don’t wait so long that you forget to exchange your gift card at all, warns Shelley Hunter, GiftCards.com’s content manager. The longer people hold on to a gift card, she says, the more likely they are to forget about it and never exchange or sell it.

“People shouldn’t have heartache over not getting 100% of the card’s value back, because they’re not getting any value out of it by keeping it,” she says.

Sell a Gift Card on GiftDeals

Though you can’t yet sell cards to GiftDeals online, you can sell them in person, at least in a few limited areas of the US. At the site, click the Sell Gift Cards (In Person) link. You’re shown a map of some locations in Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, and South Carolina where you can sell cards at various stores. 

The contact details list the name, address, and phone number of each store, so you’ll want to call a store before you head there to make sure it will buy whatever card you want to sell.

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Trade Gift Cards Online

To get cash for gift cards, you can use one of a number of gift card exchange websites that will offer you cash or another retailer’s gift card for your unwanted gift card.

You’ll never get 100% back on online gift card exchanges. That’s because the exchange itself typically takes a small fee, and shoppers using the exchange won’t want to pay full price to buy a gift card secondhand. But if you exchange your gift card online, you should be able to recoup at least half of the full value.

Depending on the type of gift card, the amount, and the supply of similar cards, you could earn anywhere between 54% and 92% of the card’s value via an online gift card exchange, says Mark Romanelli, executive vice president of product for GiftCardGranny.com, the largest aggregator of online gift card exchanges.

Can You Get Cash Back From Free Gift Cards?

Companies such as Netflix, Amazon, Starbucks, and American Eagle often give out free gift cards to people who:

  • Participate in various surveys
  • Send referral links for certain services to their friends
  • Shop through various apps and websites (e.g., Drop, Ibotta, and CapitalOne Shopping)

If you received and used a free gift card, but you didn’t spend all the money, you can rely on DoNotPay. You don’t have to lose time trying to figure out how to use the remaining balance on your gift card. We will help you claim extra cash in a matter of minutes so that you can spend it someplace else.

More Gift Card Reseller Questions?

So what other questions do you have about buying discount gift cards and selling the gift cards you don’t want? Let me know in the comments below. I’ve been buying and selling gift cards since the early days of gift cards–since they first came out. Back in those days, you had to send in plastic gift cards, wait a week or so for payment or buy discount gift cards 10 or more days before you planned to go shopping. Thankfully, those time-tables are shorter now, but the process is pretty similar. Just sell gift cards you don’t want and buy those that you do. The secondary gift card market may not be for everyone and it does take a little effort to learn, but the savings can be significant so I think the investigation is worth it.

Happy Gift Carding!

~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend

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