How to trade in your unwanted gift cards for cash


Gift cards are great, but what happens if you simply don’t like the store it came from? Luckily, there are a few ways to get around the annoying fact that you can’t return gift cards. Because who wants to waste their money on stuff they didn’t want in the first place?

For everyone stuck with unwanted gift cards here’s how to sell or trade them:

Trade Your Gift Cards Online

There are a number of gift card exchange websites that offer cash—or even a gift card from another store—in exchange for the one you have. The downside? You won’t get 100 percent back on these websites, since the exchange itself often requires a small fee. The upside? You’ll most likely recoup at least half the full value.

Sell Your Gift Cards For Cash

Selling your gift cards for cash yields a lower return than if you exchange it. That said, according to, the largest aggregator of online gift card exchanges, cards with the highest resale value are those for grocery stores, gas stations and large retailers such as Amazon or Walmart. Other alternatives? Check out, a site that allows you to set your own price for your gift card in a way similar to eBay, without the bidding.

Keep in mind, though, that the company will take a 12 percent cut no matter what, so you’ll recoup at best 88 percent.

When To Sell Your Gift Card

When’s the best time to resell? “Gift card exchanges tend to offer lower resale values immediately after the holidays,” said Mark Romanelli, executive vice president of product for, in a recent article. “There is so much supply coming into the market that many cards don’t sell for as high as they might in the summer.”

Best advice? Wait…but make sure you don’t completely forget to exchange your gift card! The longer you hold onto it, the more likely you’ll end up never exchanging or selling it at all.

About the Author

Chelsea Davis

Chelsea is a freelance journalist based in New York City whose passion revolves around exploring the world, immersing herself in foreign cultures, and of course, eating and drinking everything delicious. She covers all things food, drink and travel and is always up for an adventure, whether that means an adrenaline-pumping excursion or trying a new cuisine. Follow her on Instagram at @cheycheyfromthebay and keep up with her latest work at and at her blog More.

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