Americans’ Have $1 Billion In Unused Gift Cards. Here’s How To Sell Yours.

Updated: February 6, 2018
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Have you ever gotten a gift card to a store or restaurant that just isn’t your favorite? I know I have! Turns out there are $1 billion worth of gift cards that go unused every year.

I stashed it away thinking maybe one day I’ll shop there since it’s “free money,” but two years later the only transaction the gift card has seen is the accumulation of dust.

Or what about all the gift cards you get at a big event like wedding or graduation? Ever felt like you have too much to one store? Suddenly you go from $0 to $500 at Bed Bath and Beyond in 24 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, $500 at Bed Bath and Beyond is wonderful, but $500 cash to spend anywhere I want is even better.

Here are some reliable ways to get cash and store credit for your unwanted gift cards.

Trade online and get the most for your money

The first thing to do is check several gift card exchange websites to see where you can get the most back. Swapping your gift card for another store is always the best way to maximize your return, but depending on the type of card and amount, you can still get 54-92% of the value back in cash. It’s unlikely you’ll get 100% back in cash because the exchanging website will typically take a small fee and buyers don’t want to pay full price for a secondhand gift card.

Which website exchanges make it easy

Start with because they will compare several other sites to identify the best deal. Others we recommend include: is one of the best for sellers, with an average resell value of $76.50 for a $100 gift card. But a lot of people prefer because you can set the price. Like eBay, you get paid when the gift card sells, and there is no upfront listing fee (so no risk).

Forget the cash; I’ll take the Target or Amazon store credit

If you feel like you aren’t getting enough back in cash value, Target and Amazon offer gift card trade-in programs. Both offer store credit in exchange for gift cards to more than 100 retailers and restaurants.

For Target, you’ll need to find a participating store and bring the gift card in in person. You can identify a participating retailer and list of accepted gift cards on their website.

Amazon’s is all online:

  1. Enter the merchant card and balance to see how much you will get in exchange
  2. Enter the card number, pin, and basic information. Once the order is placed, the balance is verified.
  3. Your Amazon eGift card will be emailed to you. Approval time takes around 1 business day.

Time to turn in the Christmas gift card from aunt Suzy that you don’t love, and start hunting around the house for others that may have been stashed away. Might as well get cash back (or store credit) instead of letting them waste away!