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What can I do with unwanted gift cards

Updated on February 4, 2016

Do you have Unwanted Gift Cards?

I have had several gift cards sitting in a drawer for a year or two; they have no expiration date so have retained their value, but to be honest as they are for restaurants that I do not like I am never likely to use them!

Recently I received an email from Walmart in which they stated that they will buy unwanted gift cards – and voila a whole new world opened to me! I found that there are dozens of Gift Card Exchange sites that allow you to buy or sell gift cards. These are the main ways to sell a Gift Card:

  • Gift Card Exchange Site
  • Auction site (like eBay)
  • Games Site - some online games now offer to purchase gift cards in exhange for game currency (Example: World of Tanks)

How many unwanted gift cards do you have?

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Why Use a Gift Card Exchange Site?

No matter whether it’s your birthday or Christmas you know there’s always a chance of receiving an unwanted gift card; rather than re-gifting or holding onto the gift card for years, there are now various websites that allow you to exchange your gift card for cash or other gift cards. Gif card exchange sites make the process of buying and selling a lot more convenient.

You will never get face value for your gift card so it is important to shop around to find the service that offers the highest percentage; often you can also find bargain gift cards that are highly discounted from their original price.

Top Gift Card Exchange Sites

Percentage Offered to me
Buying & Selling Fees
Card must be $25 or more
Can list and sell on exchange for any value
Offers paypal payment
Card must be $10 or more
You set the price
Limited cards; exhange for Walmart gift card.
Very easy to use - quick payment.

I visited dozens of gift card exchange sites; these are the ones that gave me the best and easiest experience while trying to sell cards. All had a decent variety of gift card choices. I ended up choosing as it allowed me to sell a

Finding the Best Gift Exchange Site

While all gift card exchange sites offer similar services, there are some differences between each that you should look at before using the site. Here are a few things to look for:

The Look and Functionality of the Site.

While this may not actually make much difference to the end service, I always prefer to go to a site that looks professional, is easy to use and portrays an image of legitimacy. The more professional looking and the less glitches the site has, the more chance you will receive quality service.

A site full of features with a decent support structure that clearly identifies the restrictions and policies upfront is most likely to give you value and make the process seamless. Also as you are trying to find buyers, a professional site is likely to attract more viewers and potentially will allow you to sell your gift cards quicker.

Take into Account Fees when Calculating your Final Sale.

The higher the percentage payout, the more you are going to get when selling your gift card. Top quality sites that offer a good percentage are preferable, however if you want a quick sale you may want to look for sites with slightly lower percentages as most buyers will shop around for the lowest price.

When looking at the payout percentage you should also factor in any shipping and mailing costs and also any fees that the site charges – if you are selling plastic cards you will have to send them into the site in most cases (the exception being coin star where you can exchange them at the machine).

Does the Site Sell all of your Cards?

When I started looking to sell my gift cards I wanted to find one site that would allow me to sell all of the cards I had for sale. Not only would this allow me to easily maintain one account but it would also reduce shipping costs.

Unfortunately I found that I had to use three different sites in order to be able to sell all cards. I did find that Coinstar would buy three of the cards according to their site, but when I got to the machine that was not the case.

As the market grows more sites will offer a wider variety of choices so it is always worth revisiting some sites over time.

if you are going to purchase multiple gift cards from an exchange site using a credit card, you should warn your credit card company first otherwise they may flag the transactions as fraudulent.

Be Wary of Fraud

Be aware that there is a potential for fraud on most Gift Card Exchange sites; buyers can used stolen credit cards to purchase gift cards, while sellers can sell gift cards that were purchased fraudulently.

You should always look for a gift exchange site that has open practices aimed at reducing and/or eliminating fraud. It’s impossible for a site to safeguard every transaction, but the top sites will have a very low level of fraud.

One thing to be aware is that if you are going to purchase multiple gift cards from an exchange site using a credit card, you should warn your credit card company first otherwise they may flag the transactions as fraudulent.

My Experience Selling Gift Cards Online

Olive Garden
Red Lobster
Panera Bread

These are the best results for four gift cards I had; I had to use two sites to sell them (Wawa wasn't large enough on most sites). I also had one card for Tiffany's Restaurant that was not listed on any site.


It is very easy to sell gift cards online however to get the best value you have to shop around. All gift card exchange sites offer similar services, but some are obviously safer even if the final amount you receive is less than other sites.


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