For so many people, the decision to trade gift cards for cash is a murky one. How does the process work? Will you get the face value of the gift card? What happens next?
If you’ve found yourself in this boat, don’t despair.
While it’s true that swapping your gift cards out for cash can be a bit confusing, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.
The Decision to Trade Gift Cards for Cash: How Does It Work?
If you think about it, gift cards are just cash cards meant to be redeemed with a specific retailer. Because of this, they’re actually quite simple to trade, and many people find that they can get more done with the paper money they receive from their gift cards than they could with the gift card itself.
While there are many ways to complete the trade process, ranging from heading to a CoinStar machine to selling the gift card through a certified re-seller, the process generally works this way: you input the details about your gift card, including card number, face value, and pin numbers. The personal or organization that’s taking your gift card off your hands will then give you a price offer, you simply accept it, and you get an electronic deposit or a paper check for the total. It couldn’t be easier!
Why Would You Prefer Cash Over Gift Cards?
There are dozens of reasons that people choose to trade gift cards for cash, but the primary one is that a consumer might not typically shop with the retailer who issued the gift card, or they may simply prefer to use the cash for things that the gift card couldn’t facilitate. For example, maybe a person received an Amazon gift card for a birthday or holiday. The trouble is, though, that they don’t need anything from Amazon.
In a case like this, this person could trade that gift card for an electronic deposit into his or her bank account, and then use the money from the gift card to pay bills, save for a special event, or invest. In this way, swapping out a gift card for cash provides consumers with more options and more freedom than the gift card alone.
How to be Successful at the Process
While it’s true that it is simple to exchange a gift card for cash, there are a few things you need to know to make the process as easy and lucrative as possible for you:
- Do your research before you decide on a company to take the card. Although there are dozens of companies who would happily take your gift card off of your hands, it behooves you to do your research beforehand. Some companies pay more than others and some favor electronic deposit over paper checks to issue their payments. Of course, the company you choose to work with will depend in large part on your personal preferences and goals, but it’s wise to know your options before you drop in.
- Be prepared for a bit of a wait. Even if you choose the best gift card exchange company out there, instant deposits are uncommon. With this in mind, be prepared to wait 2-3 days for your electronic payment.
- Compile all of your cards and trade them at once. If you have dozens of cards you’ve been waiting to exchange, group them all together for the biggest payday. In addition to the fact that this will offer a bigger ROI for you, it’s also a simple and streamlined way to get rid of your unwanted cards in one fell swoop.
- Know the face value of all of your cards. While you can always verify the value of your cards through the retailer that issued them, it’s easier and more expedient if you just know the face value of a card off the top of your head. With this in mind, consider writing the values of each card down and keeping the paper somewhere safe. This way, when it’s time to trade your cards in, you won’t have to waste time trying to figure out how much they’re worth.
Trade Gift Cards for Cash: A Smart Option
Regardless of whether you don’t need your gift cards or you simply don’t shop with the retailer that issued them, choosing to turn them into cash is a great way to put them to good use and make them work for you all at once.