Chances are, you'll get at least one gift card for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa this year — whether you like it or not. If you are lucky, your card might be something you could use right away — like an Amazon gift card or one for your favorite store. But you might not be that lucky. You might end up with a gift card to a store or restaurant you unquestionably dislike. Even worse, you might get an inexpensive gift card to a place where nothing is cheap — like a $10 gift card to a restaurant where entrees start at $19. Those are the worst.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to get the most out of the gift cards you receive, whether it involves trading them, selling them, or maximizing their benefits.
Here are some gift card strategies everyone can use:
- Sell your gift card for cash — If you don't plan to use one of the gift cards you receive and would rather have the cash, sites like GiftCardGranny.com can help you unload it — for a fee. According to the site, you can get up to 94 percent of your card's value back in cash. So for a $50 gift card, you should expect up to $47 in cash you can stash away in your savings account. That is certainly a lot better than letting the gift card take up space in your wallet all year.
No matter what you choose to do with any gift cards you receive this year, make sure not to let them go to waste. According to MarketWatch, up to $1 billion in gift cards go unredeemed each year, which is a terrible shame.
And now that you know you don't have to keep any gift cards you don't want and you can trade or sell them instead, a whole new world of options might be available to you. No gift is perfect — and that includes gift cards — but the more options you have, the better.
What do you do with the gift cards you don't want? Do you think gift cards make good gifts?
Author: Holly Johnson
Holly Johnson is a wife, mother of two and frugal lifestyle enthusiast. On top of writing and running her own blog, Club Thrifty, she also works in a mortuary with her husband and is the queen commander of her household. Many would describe her as an nonstop workaholic who is obsessed with getting the most out of her money, her work and her life. Holly's hobbies include blogging about money, theater, movies and traveling with her young family.