Gift cards are here to stay – whether you love them or hate them. Just about every major retailer is now selling gift cards – and with the diversity of mobile, electronic, and physical gift cards available to consumers, their popularity is sure to increase in the near future.
It may be surprising that gift cards continue to get more popular – especially because they’ve been at the top of the heap for over 9 years, according to WalletHub – but it’s true!
However, despite the popularity of gift cards, we’ve noticed that there are still quite a few people who don’t treat their gift cards properly – and end up losing their gift cards, or not spending them at all.
The Credit CARD Act of 2009 made it mandatory for gift cards to have an expiration date of 5 years past the date of purchase – at a minimum – but if you lose or misplace your gift card, or fail to spend it, you’ll still lose the value on the card completely.
This is a big problem among gift card consumers. It’s estimated that, yearly, around $1 billion in gift cards goes unspent. How can you combat this problem? By spending your gift cards, of course!
In this helpful article, EJ Gift Cards will take a look at 10 helpful tips you can use to remember your gift cards – and spend or sell gift cards quickly, so that the money you’re gifted does not go to waste! Read on, and learn more!
1. Treat Your Gift Card Like Cash – From The Moment You Receive It
Here’s a little thought experiment. Imagine you get a birthday card in the mail from your parents, and it has $50 in cash, or a $50 check inside. That’s a great gift, and it’s super valuable – so where are you going to put it?
Chances are you answered “My wallet” or “My purse”. Exactly! When you get cash from somebody, you don’t just leave it lying around on the counter, or stick it back into the greeting card it came from. You take it, put it somewhere safe, and deposit (or spend it) as soon as you can.
This is exactly the attitude you should have when dealing with gift cards. When you get a gift card, never lose track of it. Put it somewhere safe immediately – but make sure that you remember where you put it. This makes it much easier to remember your gift cards when it’s time to spend them.
2. Always Store Gift Cards With Your Other Important Cards
If you store your gift cards with your other important cards (Credit cards, debit cards, ID, work/school badges, etc.) in your wallet or your purse, it’s going to be much easier to remember to spend them.
We understand that there are some people who would prefer to minimize the number of non-essential cards they carry with them. But what’s better – having a slightly slimmer wallet, or remembering to spend the balance of a gift card that’s about to expire? That’s what we thought!
3. Buy (Or Craft) A Gift Card Holder
If you have too many gift cards to fit them comfortably in your purse or wallet, consider pursuing an alternative route! Most “cardholder” wallets on the market are absolutely perfect for storing gift cards, and can usually hold up to a dozen gift cards.
In addition, buying a gift card holder specifically for your gift cards can help you remember to spend their balances, and help you keep every gift card you have in the same place. This is very valuable when you’re trying to spend the balance of numerous gift cards.
You don’t have to shell out cash for a gift card holder, either. Check out this BuzzFeed article for some unique ideas – including using an old Altoids tin, creating felt gift card holders, and directions to create a basic leather card holder that can be used for gift cards, credit cards, and business cards alike!
4. Keep A “Log” Of All Of Your Gift Cards – And Their Balances
If you have lots of gift cards, you’re not going to be able to keep track of all of them in your head – that’s just a fact. That’s why it can be helpful to create a “log” of all of your gift cards and their balances.
You can do this physically using a sheet of lined paper – simply note the remaining balance, expiration date, and other important information, and update it accordingly whenever you spend one of our gift cards.
However, we would recommend doing this using a program like Excel or Google Sheets. This makes it easy to enter data about your gift cards, and update them quickly whenever you spend money.
A gift card log helps you prioritize spending by letting you see information like expiration dates and total remaining balance at-a-glance for all of your gift cards. So if you have a dozen or more gift cards, consider making a gift card log – you won’t regret it!
5. Take A Picture
Losing a gift card is the worst – and even if you take the proper steps to avoid misplacing or losing a gift card, there’s a chance you may lose it before you’re able to spend it or sell your gift card online.
Because of this, it’s a good idea to take a picture of each new gift card you receive. By doing so, you can capture the gift card number, PIN, and other data on the card, and store it safely and securely. After you’ve used up the gift card, you can then delete these images.
If you have the information about the gift card’s number, you can always spend it online if the merchant offers online gift card redemption – and you may even be able to get a gift card re-issued in case you lose it.
This makes taking a picture of your gift cards a wise idea – whether you have a single card, or dozens!
6. Use A Gift Card App
Of course, if you have more than a few gift cards to sell, keeping track of them using photos may quickly become ponderous and difficult. If that’s the case, you may be interested in a purpose-built gift card app that helps you store, organize, and redeem your gift cards.
Our favorite gift card apps are Slide and Gyft. Both of these apps allow users to seamlessly organize and integrate both physical gift card and eGift cards – so they’re a fantastic choice for any gift card “power users” out there who need to organize dozens of physical and digital cards.
Using either of these apps, you can quickly view information like the total remaining balance on each gift card and their expiration date, as well as detailed information about how each card can be redeemed, both online and in-person.
7. Use A Mobile Wallet To Store Gift Cards
Don’t want to download a new app to store your gift cards? That’s totally fine – and if you already have an Android smartphone, or an iPhone or Samsung phone, you’ve probably got all the tools you need to store your physical gift cards already!
Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay all support the scanning of numerous different cards, which can then be stored and redeemed digitally. Best of all, these apps support the scanning and use of select gift cards, so they can be used as an alternative to third-party gift card storage apps.
However, not all gift cards can be stored using these mobile wallets, so this may not be the best choice for users who have a large variety of gift cards from smaller businesses.
8. Avoid Stashing Your Gift Cards Out Of Sight
As the old saying goes “Out of sight, out of mind”. That’s particularly true of gift cards. The vast majority of “lost” gift cards are not truly lost – they’re just simply misplaced, and they’re never found until they’ve already expired.
If you receive a gift card that you don’t expect to spend for a while – such as a gift card to a fancy restaurant that you usually go to for your anniversary – it’s tempting to stash it somewhere safe and out of sight until you need it.
However, this is usually a poor decision. Chances are that after a month or two, you’ll forget you even had that gift card – unless you use one of our above recommended methods to log it, store it, and save it for later
Even if you don’t think you’ll use a gift card right away, it’s best to keep it stored among other valuables – putting it in your wallet is usually the best idea.
However, if you don’t want to keep your gift card on you, at least store it somewhere obvious. Consider placing it in your change cup, on your dresser, or somewhere else that will allow you to see it regularly – and remember that you have it.
Of course, you can always sell gift cards that you don’t want for cash – but we’ll talk about that a bit later.
9. Consider Purchasing Or Asking For eGift Cards Instead
eGift cards are constantly growing in popularity – and it’s easy to see why. eGift cards are easier to buy online, and can be delivered around the world instantaneously. Best of all, you usually don’t have to worry about losing them – as you can always check your email to find critical information about your gift card.
However, you should still treat eGift cards like cash, even though they’re typically easier to redeem. After all, if your eGift card expires, you’ll still lose the balance – just like you do when a physical gift card expires.
Because of this, it’s still wise to write down your eGift cards in your gift card log, use a third-party gift card management application, or use your smartphone’s mobile wallet to store your eGift cards.
10. Sell Unwanted Gift Cards For Cash Immediately
If you get a gift card to a store you don’t typically patronize, or a card that you don’t want or need, it’s hard to know what to do with it. Obviously, it’s still valuable – so you shouldn’t just stash it in your junk drawer – but if you’re never going to use it, it’s pointless to keep it around, right?
Well, there’s a modern solution to this problem. Sell your gift cards online! Today, the gift card aftermarket is incredibly strong – and you can often get from 70-90% of the face value of your card by selling it online, either to another individual, or a third-party reseller.
This allows you to capitalize on the value of the gift card you receive, get cash in exchange for its value, and then use that money on something that you really need. Best of all, you can feel good about the gift you got, and know that it was put to good use!
So if you get a gift card you know you’ll never need or use, you should sell gift cards online as soon as you can. Doing so will help you get rid of a useless gift card, and put cash in your pocket immediately – and that’s a win-win!
Need To Sell Gift Cards Online? EJ Gift Cards Is The Place For You!
If you have digital or physical gift cards that you no longer need, it’s best to sell them for cash – and EJ Gift Cards is the best place to do just that! If you want to sell gift cards for cash, we make it totally quick and easy!
We purchase both unused gift cards and gift cards that have been used, but have a sizeable remaining balance. Selling gift cards with us couldn’t be simpler. Just log onto our website, check out our list of accepted cards, and enter the details about your card.
We’ll offer you a totally reversible quote for your gift card’s value – and if you like what you see, all you have to do is enter your payment details! As soon as we’ve confirmed the value of your card, we’ll pay you through PayPal, so your money will be totally safe and secure.
We offer fantastic rates on all major gift cards, and we’re always ready to help you if you have questions about our policies or your transaction. So sell gift cards that you don’t want for cash today – at EJ Gift Cards!