How to Dump a Gift Card

Dec 23, 2013 by

gift cards

Gift cards really lighten Santa’s load!

Chances are good your Christmas haul will include gift cards for products or services that weren’t on the list you sent Santa. Rid yourself of any guilt about declining to, say, force-feed yourself Applebee’s and convert those cards into something you want. Like cash!

Sell Your Gift Cards

Some retailers allow gift cards to be exchanged for cash, especially if you’ve got the receipt, so that’s the first thing to check out because you’d get full value for the card, just as if you’d returned a physical item. Nothing’s better than getting cold, hard cash you can spend anywhere in exchange for a card that doesn’t make the materialistic muscles in your heart go pitter patter.

If you do want cash instead of a gift card but can’t get a refund from a retailer, the next best option may be to sell your card. Like just about anything these days, you’ve got to do some research and be careful not to get ripped off, but many online sites will help you convert your card to cash (for a cut, of course).

Trade Your Gift Cards

Another option is to swap your gift card for a card you do want, and some sites facilitate consumer-to-consumer swapping of gift cards. This approach may be riskier than selling your card to an online business that buys & sells gift cards because swap sites can be scammer magnets. The advantage of a card swap is you may pay less in transaction fees and so keep for yourself more of the value of the card you want to ditch. For example, a business site that buys and sells gift cards may pay you $15 for a $25 card, but you might be able to swap your $25 card for another $25 card and pay a relatively small fee.

Gift Card Exchange Sites to Check Out

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list, but to get you started, here’s an alphabetical list of gift card exchange sites that might meet your needs:

You might begin your research with the summary of reviews of these sites and others at Top Ten Reviews.

Do Your Gift Card Homework

Before you get involved with any gift card exchange business, search the site’s name and learn whether the Internet’s teeming with complaints against the business. It may pay to check the conversation on Twitter about the site too. And comparison shop as you would anything else because you’ll pay a fee to dump your cards, and the fees do vary among card exchange sites.

Would You Dump an Unwanted Gift Card?

Would you hesitate to sell, exchange, or otherwise dump a gift card you didn’t really want? What happens if the gift-giver asks you how you liked the [fill-in-the-blank] with the gift card he or she gave you?

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  • Color Me Frugal

    Wow, I didn’t know there were so many options for sites that help you offload giftcards. I just used Cardpool for the first time to buy a giftcard- haven’t used it yet, but hopefully it will turn out well!

  • Travis Pizel

    Good info to have…although I normally don’t get unwanted gift cards. Gift cards are normally the “hey, we don’t know what to get you, where do you normally shop” gift…so they’re usually to places I would use. I am, however, usually in the business of buying gift cards from my kids so they can just have the cash. 🙂

  • I have for years told my family and friends that I hate gift cards. We also have an agreement among all adults in our extended families that we no longer buy gifts for each other. We only buy gifts for kids. That has pretty much put the kibosh on any Christmas cards that I might have received.

  • I have used cardpool and plastic jungle in the past. Both experiences went very smoothly. I even unloaded a few thousand dollars worth at cardpool without problems.

    There’s another site called that shows the top gift card resellers and the rates they pay for hundreds of different cards. It’s a good place to stop first and check out which retailer will offer the highest price (if you’re selling) or where you can find the lowest price (if you are buying).

  • I don’t get many gift cards, but the ones I do get I can usually use. Buying gift cards off of those places can help you save a lot, though.

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