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Gift cards: they’re some of the most popular presents out there. In many cases, a well-meaning friend or relative will give a gift card assuming that it’s one of the easiest ways to get you something you actually want.

Unfortunately, even a well-intentioned gift card can miss the mark, and if you’re like most people, you’ve probably gotten one or two of these in your life. Fortunately, you don’t just have to sit on them anymore. Today, it’s possible to get instant cash for gift cards – you just have to know how!

If you’re one of the many people who thinks this process sounds frightening, it’s not nearly as tough as you think.

Why Instant Cash for Gift Cards?

The biggest reason to trade gift cards for cash is that cash is much more flexible and usable than gift cards. While a gift card can only be redeemed at a specific retailer or store, cash is applicable everywhere, and can be used to help you get exactly what you want, when you want it.

With a gift card, you have the option to shop at that one single retailer. Granted, the choice of what you can buy is more flexible at a store like Target than is at a restaurant like Applebee’s, but still, you’re restricted to a single point of commerce.

With cash, though, the possibilities are virtually unlimited: you can save it, deposit it, use it to purchase something outside of a specific retailer, or even invest it. This is the single largest motivator for people who choose to get instant cash for gift cards.

How the Process Works

If you’re looking for a way to trade your gift cards in for cold, hard cash, the process is quite simple, and you’ll likely be finished with your transaction in just a few moments.

Here’s what you need to do:

1. Find a gift card trade-in site

While stores like Walmart and Target have gift card trade-in kiosks inside of them, it’s hit-or-miss whether these kiosks will give you cash, or not. A smarter option is simply to find a trade-in website, or head to a Coinstar kiosk. Be sure that you’ve done your research beforehand, and you understand the benefits of each choice. Generally, a gift card site will offer more for your cards, although a kiosk may be a bit quicker.

2. Enter your card’s information

The next step is to enter your card’s information into the site or kiosk. You’ll need your card’s full number and pin, if it has one. You’ll also need the face value of the card. These are essential pieces of information for any trade-in transaction, and you won’t be able to continue unless you have them.

3. Receive your cash offer

Once you’ve entered in all of your card’s information, you’ll be presented a cash offer. If you like what you see, accept it, if not, reject it and get to work looking elsewhere. Keep in mind that some gift cards are more valuable than others, so it may be tough to find a retailer that will offer you more for a low-value card than an online trade-in site.

4. Get your cash!

The next step is simply to get your cash! If you went to a Coinstar kiosk, you’ll get actual cash for your card and you’ll be able to walk out with the money in hand. If you chose to use an online trade-in site, though, you’ll get an electronic deposit into your PayPal account, which should be complete in just a few days. No matter what you choose, this is a smart and simple way to get instant cash for gift cards – no muss, no fuss!

Cash for Your Unwanted Cards

While gift cards can be exciting, they can also be unusable, and it’s important to know the difference between the two. If you have a card sitting around that you’ll never use, trading it in for cash is a great way to stop it from clogging up your house and make the most of its value at the same time. Plus, with the help of simple kiosks and online sites, it takes less time to trade a gift card in than it does to make your morning coffee!