Here's How You Can Cash in on Those Unwanted Gift Cards You Got in Your Christmas Stocking
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Here's How You Can Cash in on Those Unwanted Gift Cards You Got in Your Christmas Stocking

If you were given gift cards you can't use or simply don't want, you have several options for getting rid of them

December 25, 2019

People often receive gift cards from people they don't know too well. While the thought is nice, there's a good chance the gift card will be for a store you never visit or that sells things you would never want. But even if the card you get is for your favorite store, there's still a chance you'll forget about it. So if you have an unwanted gift card or two, there are a few options to put it to use.

  1. Return the gift card to the retailer.
  2. If you have an unwanted gift card, you might be able to return it to the retailer. It really is a long shot at best, but there may be a handful of retailers that allow gift card returns. There are often a lot of catches and hoops to jump through, though. You may only be able to return it if the card was purchased with cash. You may need the original receipt. You may have to return to the specific store where it was purchased. Some refunds for cards purchased with a card will go back to the original card, not to you. And still others require you to call a number and request a check.

  3. Donate the gift card to charity.
  4. Gift cards are just like cash, and when donated to charity can be considered a cash donation eligible for a charitable deduction on your tax return. Contact the charity of your choice and inquire as to whether gift cards can be donated. Some charities, like us, accept gift cards in person, by mail or electronically. Others don't accept them at all.

    There are a number of different online services that convert gift cards into cash to provide charitable services. If you are donating your gift cards to a service like this, make sure to check them out before donating to avoid scams. These services may or may not be eligible for a tax deduction.

  5. Sell the gift card.
  6. Many Coinstar Exchange kiosks will accept unused gift cards valued over $20 for a cash percentage of the value. You will receive a voucher to cash in at the customer service desk where the kiosk is located. You may only have a certain amount of time in which to cash in the voucher, so don't delay. You can also sell the card online at sites like Card Cash, Cardpool, and Raise. You enter the card details and they make you an offer. When you accept, they verify the balance and process the request.

  7. Re-gift the gift card.
  8. You always have the option of giving the gift card to someone who will use it. But be careful. Some gift cards expire and some deduct value from the gift card after a period of inactivity. You don't want to give a $100 gift card to someone only to find out it has $95. That would look bad!

  9. Buy other people gifts with the gift card.
  10. If you're looking for something to do with the gift card, it's probably to a store you never go to. If this is the case, you can always shop for a gift for someone else at that store using the gift card. Wherever it is, there's a good chance you can find some kind of gift there for someone.

  11. Buy items to donate.
  12. You can always use the unwanted gift card to buy items that you can donate to charity. In this case, the items might have a deductible value of their full purchase price. You can get rid of the gift cards and help a good cause at the same time.