Did you know you can sell or trade your unwanted gift cards?
Most people don't even know such an option is possible, when in fact it is, and can come in really handy around the holiday season when almost everyone gets at least one gift card.
Below you will find a rundown of two Web sites that facilitate the buying and selling of unwanted gift cards as well as an ingenious way of dealing with those Visa/Amex gift cards.
Cardpool allows you to buy, sell or trade gift cards with fellow Cardpool members. You're able to sell a gift card for a little less than the overall value of the card. If you opt to send the cards' info in electronically, you are going to get a little bit less for the card than if you choose to physically send the card in.
The actual percentage Cardpool takes per card varies based on the demand for the gift card, and not a flat fee across the board. You're given the option to get an Amazon gift card instead of a check for the value of the card(s) for payment methods.
If you're looking to buy a card, you will be able to buy cards at a lower amount than what the card is worth, allowing you to save some money. (Which is also a great way to buy the gift cards you plan to give.)Plastic Jungle
Update: Since publishing this story, Plastic Jungle has shut down. Please refer to Cardpool for selling gift cards.
Plastic Jungle allows you to buy or sell unwanted gift cards. You can expect to receive up to 92 percent of the value of the card you're looking to get rid of.
Once you sell a card to Plastic Jungle, you can receive your payment as a cashier's check, PayPal deposit, or Amazon gift card. You will have to physically send the card(s) in to Plastic Jungle, unless the business for the card you are selling is from the short list of vendors that can be sent in electronically. You will be notified during the checkout process if your card qualifies for electronic submittal.
If you are looking to buy a gift card, you will be able to buy it at a discounted value, which varies based on the card.
Both sites allow you to set up alerts for a specific business or type of card, should they not have any currently available.
This next piece of advice comes from Twitter user @garz76, via @nanpalmero; when you receive a Visa or Amex gift card, instead of trying to manage the balance at retail outlets, simply transact a payment to yourself using a Square card reader.
Granted, you are going to be charged the 2.75 percent fee for the transaction, but you will have the remaining value of the card deposited into your bank account within a couple days. Now, instead of having to fumble through keeping track of the balance, or even worry about what places will accept the card, you have cash in your bank account, to be used however you choose.
It only takes a few minutes to request a free Square reader (or you can purchase them at most big-box retailers now) and set up an account via the Web site in just a few minutes.
If none of the above solutions sounds like a winner to you, there is always eBay, which allows the selling of gift cards. Of course, eBay has its own set of fees along with PayPal that can end up costing you more in the end. Weigh your options and choose whichever one works best for you.
The bottom line: there is no reason for you to be stuck with a gift card to a place you don't like. Sell it or trade it and get exactly what you want.