Cashing in on Gift Cards
Do you love the thought of receiving a gift card, or winning one as a prize? But what if it’s for a store that isn’t in your area, or you just can’t find anything you want there.
Consumer Reports estimates that $2.5 billion worth of gift cards went unused in 2010. Rather than wasting this resource, you might consider using an online website to sell an unwanted card, donate it to a charity, or even use it to pay a bill. An internet search of “sell gift cards” or “donate gift cards” will give you millions of options.
There are a few things to remember when selling or donating a gift card.
- Expect to get 50 to 90% of the face value of the card. “The cards to stores that have the broadest appeal like Target and Home Depot have the best cash-out ratios,” according to www.mymoneyblog.com. Shop around the online sites to get the most you can.
- Payout is in various forms, including a credit to your credit card or PayPal account, or a check to you.
- Some card websites are accredited by the Better Business Bureau, while others aren’t. Research a company you are considering at www.bbbonline.org.
You can buy gift cards discounted 10% or more from these websites, as well. When redeeming the gift card, shop during a sale or combine it with a percentage-off coupon at the retail store for even more savings.