What Should You Do With Your Unwanted Gift Cards

by Hank Coleman

PlasticJungle.comIt happens every Christmas or birthday. You inevitably receive a gift card or two to a place that you never shop at. Or, even worse, your relative from out of town sends you a gift card to a place that does not even have a local outlet in your town. The hard part is deciding what you are going to do with those unwanted gift cards. Luckily, you are not the only one in this situation by a long shot, and there are several alternatives that you can use to get rid of those unwanted gift cards and either earn cash or exchange them for gift cards that you do want.

Sell Your Unwanted Gift Cards

The first thing you can do is sell your unwanted gift cards or trade them in. There are a lot of different websites on the Internet that specialize in selling or exchanging unwanted gift cards, such as PlasticJungle.com, Giftcard.com, Cardpool, GiftCardMall.com, or several others. On these sites, you can sell or exchange your gift card for another brand of gift card that you would prefer to have. However, you may not quite get the face value for your gift card, but you will get close. It all depends on how popular the store whose gift card you hold. There are many gift cards that are selling for a 5% to 10% discount or more. Buying discounted gift cards like this can also work in your favor if you are on the hut for saving money on gifts for friends or even yourself.

At PlasticJungle.com, customers can buy, sell, or trade these gift cards. You can buy gift cards at a discount averaging 15% off the card’s face value, and in some cases 30% off or even higher. There is no risk since Plastic Jungle verifies and guarantees the balance on each card before they offer it for sale on their site. Their gift card inventory can include discounted gift cards from stores such as Best Buy, Walmart, Home Depot, Macy’s, Lowe’s, Sears, Applebees, Disney Store, NFL Shop, T-Mobile, & MANY more!

Top 5 Websites To Sell Your Unwanted Gift Cards

  1. PlasticJungle.com
  2. GiftCardMall.com
  3. GiftCertificates.com
  4. Cardpool
  5. American Express Gift Cards

Look To Sell Your Gift Cards On eBay

Do you have unwanted gift cards this holiday season?If you are concerned about value, you can try selling them yourself on eBay which is another great option. While this will typically get you the highest price for your unwanted gift cards, you will still have to pay eBay fees that could eat into your profits, although not by much. On average, you can get 80-90% of the value of the gift card if you exchange it or sell it on a site like eBay after paying their fees and commissions. The holidays are a great time to sell things on eBay because they often offer discounts or waive their fees altogether in some categories. Using eBay is better than nothing if you never end up using the gift card. Many retailers now limit the amount of time that your gift card is valid. So, you do not want your gift card to expire before deciding what to do with it.

Look At Using The Gift Cards With Partners

Another alternative is that you can use your unwanted gift cards elsewhere if the card has any affiliations with other retailers. For example, you could use an Old Navy gift card at the Gap and vice versa. There are many retailers that either own other chains and brands or have agreements with other chains where you can cross shop. Many restaurant chains offer the same deal as well. That way, if you do not like the store that the original gift card was for, you can use it at a store that you may like more instead.

Give Your Unwanted Gift Cards As Gifts

Finally, you could re-gift the gift cards that you do not want to use as gifts for someone else. One trick that you can use is to buy a new gift card with your existing gift card. This will get you a new gift card holder with no writing on it. That way, you can personalize it for the person you want to give it to. Nobody will ever know it is a re-gift! You also may be able to donate your unwanted gift cards that you receive during the holidays or a birthday to one of your local or national charities. It may be well worth your time and effort in calling them to find out. Or, maybe you could use the unwanted gift cards to buy items that your local food bank or homeless shelter needs.

What about you? What do you do with gift cards that you receive but don’t want? Have you ever used a service like Plastic Jungle to sell gift cards? I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comment section below.

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About Hank Coleman

Hank Coleman is the founder of Money Q&A, an Iraq combat veteran, a Dr. Pepper addict, and a self-proclaimed investing junkie. He has written extensively for many nationally known financial websites and publications. Hank holds a Master’s Degree in Finance and is currently pursuing his Certified Financial Planner credentials. Email him directly at Hank[at]MoneyQandA.com.


Hank Coleman has written 522 articles on Money Q&A. Learn more about Money Q&A on Twitter @MoneyQandA and @HankColeman.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Money Beagle

I got some gift cards to Starbucks a few years ago, and I’m not a Starbucks guy, but I know some co-workers who love it, so they happily bought the cards from me.
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Hank Coleman

That’s a great idea to sell them to your coworkers. I hadn’t thought of that. I think that you would just have to give them a decent deal or the office may be a cold place.
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John S @ Frugal Rules

I’ve never heard of Plastic Jungle. It sounds like a neat idea. I can’t remember of getting a gift card I did not want, but if I did I would check them out or sell it on Ebay
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Hank Coleman

They definitely offer a cool service. They also guarantee the card values which could be a little bit of a gamble on eBay if you are not careful.
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Jen

It’s smart to sell unwanted gift cards, especially as we are all making New Year’s resolutions and could use the extra cash.
Here’s a tip: you can earn cash back on some cash back sites when you are selling gift cards through sites like PlasticJungle, Cardpool, etc. Just sign in the cash back site, click from there to the gift card site and earn cash back in top of the money you are making by selling that gift card.

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Hank Coleman

Which cash back sites do you use when selling gift cards?
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Tie the Money Knot

Totally agree, there is no need to waste a gift card you don’t want. I say that from the perspective of being able to get value out of it anyway for yourself – and others, too. If we think of these cards as assets – albeit on a small scale – it can help us realize that we can get something out of them even if we won’t need to shop at that particular store. Good to get money or regift – the latter meaning you save money on something else you might have bought.

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Hank Coleman

Thinking of them as a small asset. I love it! Great idea. We can definitely use more this time of year as well make a run at new New Year’s Resolutions.
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Felix Lee

I usually just give gift cards I don’t want to a friend or a family member who will actually use it. I wasn’t aware there were sites specifically for trading/selling gift cards and I think that’s a great idea. It would certainly make it easier to make sure the gift card is put to good use.
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Colley and Colley

I always get giftcards to places I don’t have around me or for things I dont need. I found a cool site that lets me earn giftcards that I chose. To places that I actually go to. Like walmart and target. They even have paypal giftcards, which are practically cash. It’s free and rewards you for using their search engine, watching videos and more

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