Still Carrying Holiday Gift Cards? Here’s How to Sell Your Gift Cards for Cash

By on May 8, 2017

Think back to the holiday season. (We know, it’s tough to remember what happened four days ago, let alone four-plus months ago, but just try.) You probably were thankful for receiving many excellent gifts, perhaps including some gift cards. Sure, you don’t normally shop at the House of Prune Juice, but after receiving a gift card, you figured you’d check it out.

All this time later, that same gift card is still in your wallet because you never had a hankering for prune juice. And at this point, you probably never will. Don’t worry. Those unwanted gift cards may be worthless to you, but they aren’t to someone else, and they’ll pay cash for them. We guarantee that cash won’t live in your wallet for four-plus months without being used. Keep reading to find our best ideas for how to sell your gift cards for cash!

If you need a bit of a primer on how gift cards work and all of the options you have for gift cards, check out the Ben’s Bargains Complete Guide for Managing Your Gift Cards.

Realistic Expectations

sell gift cards for cash

We do have to include a disclaimer here: Chances are not great that you’ll receive face value in cash for your unwanted gift cards. Depending on the demand for a particular brand of card, you could receive far less than face value actually.

So you’ll have to decide at what percentage of face value you’re willing to sell the gift card before you start the process.

Additionally, you can sell a card that you’ve partially used, but most re-sellers that purchase gift cards require that you have at least a $20 balance on the card.

Why Can’t I Receive Face Value?

Remember that if you’re selling an unwanted gift card, the gift card re-seller has to have the ability to re-sell the card at a profit. So the margin for the retailer occurs in the difference between the value for which it purchases your card versus the amount it can sell the card. Re-sellers wouldn’t make any profit if they pay you full value for the gift card.

Additionally, some cards are in greater demand among buyers than others, so more popular cards will be more valuable when you sell them. And some gift card re-sellers may have a temporary oversupply of cards from a particular company, meaning they’ll pay you less if you’re selling that type of card at the wrong time.

If you sell the card to another person, rather than at a retail re-seller, you may receive closer to face value — or even face value — for your gift cards. But you do have the hassle of taking the time to find a buyer … and even then, you’re not guaranteed to receive face value.

So the fastest and easiest method to sell an unwanted gift card is to go to one of the gift card re-sellers listed below, but don’t expect to receive face value.

Cardpool

With the Cardpool service, you have multiple options for exchanging your gift cards for cash. Cardpool partners with stores and kiosks in your local area to purchase gift cards. This is the fastest way to exchange a gift card. (If you’ve used Coinstar Exchange kiosks to sell cards in the past, Cardpool now owns these kiosks.)

The Cardpool web site offers the ability to search by postal code for locations near you. You will need an ID to make the exchange.

You also can use Cardpool to perform an exchange remotely over the Internet. Just enter the gift card retailer and the amount remaining on the card, and you’ll see a payout amount that you can choose whether to accept. You will have to mail the gift card before receiving your payment.

GiftCardBin

GiftCardBin is a service that partners with businesses in your local area — usually payday loan stores and pawn shops. You then can sell your gift cards at those locations. Just visit the GiftCardBin web site where you can search for a location via postal code.

You also can sell your gift cards online through the GiftCardBin web site. But you will have to mail the physical gift card before you can receive your payment.

Check Into Cash

turn gift cards into cash

This is a payday loan store that also will purchase gift cards in person. Visit the Check Into Cash web site to find a location near you. You cannot sell your gift cards remotely through the Internet with this service.

Card Cash and Gift Card Zen

The Card Cash web site and the Gift Card Zen web site are two more options for selling the cards online. Neither site has an option for selling the cards in person, though.

Local Check Cashing Stores

gift card selling tips

If you don’t have one of the stores listed above in your area, it’s worth checking with any locally or regionally owned check cashing, pawn shop, and payday loan types of stores to see if they’d be interested in purchasing your unwanted gift cards.

Sell It on Your Own

There are many options for selling an unwanted gift card yourself. A popular option is eBay. If you’re looking more for a site that focuses only on gift cards, the Raise web site is an option. At Raise, you just set the card’s price and then wait for it to sell.

You always can try to sell it through a Craigslist ad too. Or if you don’t mind trying to sell face to face, visit the store that issued the gift card and ask people there if they would like to buy it. Because the people there already like the store, they’d be good candidates to buy the card. Just make sure your sales pitch is on point!

About Kyle Schurman

Having a tech background as a writer makes me the go-to source when family members' devices don't work. Fortunately, I'm more skilled at helping solve readers' problems through writing than trying to fix my parents' printer over the phone.

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