Connect with us

News

Did you receive a gift card you don’t need? Here’s how to sell it for cash

Published

on

The holiday season is approaching — the most intoxicating, adrenaline-inducing time of year for shoppers. As always, you should be prepared to maintain a smile while receiving gifts that you may not want or can’t use. They say it’s the thought that counts, but hundreds of billions of dollars in holiday gifts are returned each year.

A big holiday offender is gift cards — a present slightly less personal (and less practical) than cash. Wouldn’t it be great if you could return gift cards? After all, 47% of Americans have at least one unused gift card, according to a CreditCards.com study, and the average unused amount is $175 per person.

Fortunately, you can — sort of. If you’re willing to give up a bit of value, there are simple ways to turn unwanted gift cards into cash.

Subscribe to the Select Newsletter!

Our best selections in your inbox. Shopping recommendations that help upgrade your life, delivered weekly. Sign-up here.

Advertisement

Sell your gift cards for easy money

There are a number of third-party websites that give you the opportunity to exchange gift cards for cash. They each work slightly differently, so the one you choose will depend on convenience — and sometimes, the gift card merchant.

Sites like Raise operate as a sort of marketplace with the burden to sell the gift card placed on you. You’ll be able to choose how heavily you want to discount your card, and you can view the discounts that others with similar gift cards are offering. You won’t receive any money until someone buys your gift card.

Raise imposes a 15% fee for the privilege of using its site to sell your card. In other words, the best possible return is 85 cents on the dollar.

That’s a higher fee than many other sites, though Raise’s strong reputation can make it worth the price for some. Selling gift cards for the first time can be a bit nerve-racking, after all. Raise offers two payout methods: ACH direct deposit and PayPal.

Photo courtesy of raise.com

Other sites, like CardCash, will remove the hassle of selling the card yourself. As soon as they verify your gift cards, they’ll pay you and take care of the reselling themselves.

CardCash will give you up to 92% of the cash value of your cards. That’s significantly better than the likes of Raise — though the return fluctuates greatly from one retailer to the next. For instance, at the time of this writing, a $100 gift card to Walmart will get you $86, the Apple Store will get you $80 and Microsoft a lousy $65.

Advertisement

One of the best features of CardCash (and an advantage it has over Raise) is that it’s pretty indiscriminate as to which gift cards it will buy from you. It follows standard practices, such as refusal to sell gift cards with expiration dates or promotional cards that can only be spent in certain areas. But the list of accepted merchants seems to be much larger than that of Raise. So even if your obscure gift cards don’t yield a huge return, you’ll at least get something.

CardCash also gives you the option to trade-in your gift cards for select other gift cards and receive up to 11% more value than had you simply cashed out. Popular trade-in options are Amazon, Target and Wayfair. Trading your current gift card for an Amazon gift card (which has just about everything) could be as good as cash — and a no-brainer way to preserve value.

Buying discounted gift cards

The same way you can use sites like Raise and CardCash to sell your unwanted gift cards, you can use them to buy other people’s gift cards at a discount. If you’re planning to purchase discounted gift cards through these sites, be sure to use a credit card that will give you the maximum return for your spending. Gift card marketplaces won’t fall into any bonus categories, so the best strategy is to spend on a card that gives you a respectable flat rate on everyday purchases, such as:

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Rewards

    2% cash back: 1% on all eligible purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Rewards

    Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back. That’s 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Intro fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that, either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

On Wells Fargo’s secure site

  • Rewards

    Unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate

  • Regular APR

    18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Introductory fee of 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Bottom line

You can easily turn gift cards into cash (or more desirable gift cards) through reputable sites like Raise and CardCash. The site you choose will depend on the ease of sale and the type of gift card you have. You won’t get full value for it, but that’s still better than letting a gift card go unused.

Next time you unwrap a thoroughly uninteresting gift card, you can display a genuine smile as you scheme to convert it into something you actually want with just a few clicks.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal financetech and toolswellness and more, and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.



Source: CNBC

Advertisement

Follow us on Google News to get the latest Updates

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending