Don't let unwanted gift cards just sit in a drawer

4 Ways to Profit from a Gift Card You Don't Want

by Paige Estigarribia


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It's happened to us all. You never play sports, but a well-intentioned family member or friend gives you a sports store gift card. You don't cook, but a dear friend gave you a gift card to a kitchen store. Sound familiar? According to the 2013 retail Gift Card Association's Holiday Gift Card Trend Tracker Survey, 74% of shoppers planned to purchase from one to five gift cards. And according to the Wall Street Journal, about 1 billion dollars in gift cards go unredeemed. So, if you were the recipient of one of those gift cards, and you aren't sure what to do with it, here are some tips on getting the most out of a gift card you may not ever redeem.

1. Re-Gift It

If you don't want your spa gift card, maybe you have a friend or a family member that would love it? One way to deal with a gift card you won't use is hang onto it and re-gift it later to someone that will. Sometimes you can re-gift in the packaging and other times you may have to get creative. But hanging onto it and then giving it away later to someone that would love it is a great way to save money on a future gift. However, be on top of any card expiration dates or dormancy fees.

2. Use It to Buy Something for Someone Else

If you don't want to re-gift the actual gift card, think about using it to buy something for someone else as a gift. Gift cards should be treated as money, so if you don't play sports but your nephew loves t-ball, think about cashing in your sports store gift card for his birthday t-ball present. If you have an extra gift card you aren't going to use, think about cashing in your gift card if the recipient might like the products from your gift card retailer.

3. Sell It

There are several sites that operate as places where consumers can sell unwanted gift cards for payment. For example, according to Elliott Bohm of Cardcash.com, Cardcash.com gives consumers the option of selling the card either digitally or mailing it in. When you are considering cashing in your unwanted gift card, Cardcash.com gives you a price quote. They even offer four payment options, including an Amazon payment that gives you a 5% bonus.

4. Donate It to Charity

An additional option could be donating your card to charity. Gift cards could be very useful to school classrooms or athletic departments, church youth groups, or community centers. Many charitable organizations would love to take a gift card and use it for books, art supplies, or sports equipment.

So there you have it! No need to hang on to those old gift cards you'll never use in your wallet. Use these tips so those gift cards are used wisely and don't go to waste.


Paige Estigarribia is a writer for The Dollar Stretcher who enjoys writing about food, frugal living, and money-saving tips. Visit Paige on Google+.

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