Gift cards are a popular choice during the holiday season, with a significant percentage of consumers planning to give them as gifts. However, a staggering number of Americans end up not using these gift cards, resulting in billions of dollars in unused balances. If you find yourself with unused gift cards gathering dust, there are several ways you can exchange them for cash or other valuable options.

One viable option for cashing in on your unused gift cards is to sell them online. Several websites provide platforms for consumers to sell their gift cards for money. These platforms employ different financial models, ranging from paying a percentage of the card’s value to operating as an eBay for gift cards. Examples of such websites include,, and However, it is important to note that these platforms typically pay consumers less than the face value of their cards.

When selling your gift cards, it is crucial to compare prices and scout for the best deal. Different websites may offer varying amounts for the same retailer’s gift cards. Therefore, conducting some comparison shopping on these platforms can help maximize your earnings. It is recommended to be cautious when using social media platforms such as Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist to sell or buy gift cards due to the high risk of fraud. Opting for reputable websites and conducting due diligence can minimize the chances of falling victim to scams.

If selling your gift cards is not your preferred option, there are other alternatives to consider. Donating your unused gift cards to charity is a wonderful way to give back and help those in need. Many charitable organizations accept gift card donations and utilize them to support their causes. Another option is to regift the unused cards to friends or family members who may find them more useful. Regifting allows you to pass on the cards to someone who can fully enjoy and benefit from their value.

In addition to selling and donating, some states have laws that require retailers to reimburse consumers with cash for partially used gift cards. These laws typically apply when the card balance falls below a certain financial threshold. For example, most states require cash back for card balances of around $5 or less, while California takes a more generous approach, offering refunds for cards valued at $9.99 or less. Familiarizing yourself with the specific regulations in your state can help you leverage these laws to convert your unused card balances into cash.

Unused gift cards need not remain forgotten in drawers, as there are various options available to cash them in. Whether you choose to sell them online, donate them to charity, regift them, or take advantage of state laws, it is essential to explore these avenues and make the most of your unused gift cards. By doing so, you can turn these forgotten treasures into something useful and valuable while decluttering your wallet and making room for new experiences.


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