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How To Sell Unwanted Gift Cards For Cash

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 cannot 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.

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Sell ​​your gift cards for easy money

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 — although 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.

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

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 required

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 required

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 required

Bottom line

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

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