Understanding The Target Gift Card Trade-In Program | EJ Gift Cards

We’ve all been there. You got a gift card that you don’t really need. Maybe your mother-in-law forgot that you don’t use Apple products, so you’re looking to sell an Apple Store gift card. Or your wardrobe is overflowing, so you need to sell a Nordstrom gift card.

However, it can be hard to know what to do with your unwanted gift cards. You can sell them to friends and family, give them away, or even sell them online to EJ Gift Cards.

Recently, though, quite a few stores have begun offering trade-in programs for third-party gift cards. CoinStar has even developed a the “Coinstar Exchange” gift card exchange kiosk, which is in use at quite a few places nationwide.

Even though selling gift cards online is a great way to get cash for your card, it’s no longer your only option. Target has recently implemented a gift card trade-in program. You can head to your local target with an unwanted gift card from nearly 100 stores (check out the list here), and trade it for a Target gift card.

In this article, EJ Gift Cards will give you some more information about how this program works, discuss its pros and cons, and help you decide whether you should sell GAP Gift cards and other unwanted gift cards to us – or trade them in at Target!

How The Target Gift Card Trade-In Program Works

The Target Gift Card Trade-In Program is very easy to use – but, surprisingly, it seems that most people don’t even know that it exists! Here is what you need to know about the program, and how to get started.

  • Find a participating Target trade-in location – Currently, most Target stores participate in this program. It’s estimated that, out of the company’s 1,800+ stores, around 1,500 are participating. You can use this simple search tool from Target to find one near you – simply enter your ZIP code, and find the participating Target location nearest to you!
  • Check and make sure your gift card is accepted – Before you go to Target, you’re going to want to make sure that Target accepts your gift card. You can use this page to see which gift cards are accepted.

    Most cards from popular big-box stores, department stores, home improvement stores, and other superstores like Walmart are accepted. You can even sell Target gift cards – but you’ll just get a Target gift card in return, so that’s a bit pointless.

    Notably, Target does not accept cards from most online-only merchants like eBay and Amazon.com. Make sure to double-check, and ensure your card is accepted at Target. Then, hop in the car, and head to the store.
  • Head to the electronics department – This is where some people get confused when trying to use this program. You might assume you’re supposed to go to the Customer Service desk, or just talk to a checkout associate to trade in your card. However, this is not the case.

    Card swaps are handled at the electronics department of the store. Look for a Target employee with a black shirt – these are “Target Tech” employees, and they will be familiar with the program.

    Some Target associates are not familiar with the program, and may try to send you up to customer service. If this happens, simply ask to see a manager or another associate – only a Target Tech employee can perform the exchange, so don’t take “no” for an answer.
  • Hand over your gift card, and get an offer for its value – The Target Tech employee will take your card, scan it, and confirm its balance and validity to ensure that it’s fully-loaded and legitimate. This offer comes directly from CardPool, which is Target’s partner in the exchange program.

    Your offer will vary depending on the value and type of gift card you sell. If you trade a low-value gift card to Olive Garden, for example, you may only get 50-75% of its value. A more desirable card like a WalMart gift card or a Best Buy gift card may get you a higher value.
  • Accept the offer, or change your mind – Once you get your offer, you can either choose to accept it, or change your mind and keep your card. There’s no pressure or commitment – so if you decide that you’re better off just spending your gift card, you can leave the store and keep your card. It’s entirely your decision.
  • Get your gift card, and start shopping – If you agree to your quoted price, you’ll hand over your gift card, and the associate will activate a Target gift card with the quoted value.

    For security purposes, you will need to provide a telephone number, email address, and photo identification. This is to prevent common types of gift card fraud. Then, they will hand the card over to you, and you’re good to go – it’s just that easy.

The Target Gift Card Trade-In Program is still relatively unknown, but it’s a great way to get rid of unwanted gift cards and start shopping immediately.

The Pros And Cons Of The Target Gift Card Trade-In Program

So, should you use the Target Gift Card Trade-In Program, or should you stick with an online gift card exchange like EJ Gift Cards to sell your unwanted gift cards?

That’s a great question! We’ll discuss both the pros and cons of the Target Gift Card Trade-In Program now, so that you can make the right decision for your particular situation.


The Target Gift Card Trade-In Program does have some unique benefits that may make it a better choice than an online gift card exchange, for some people.

  • You get your Target gift card immediately – There is no waiting for a gift card code to be sent to your email, and you don’t have to wait for a card to arrive in the mail. Your Target card is instantly loaded for you, so you’ll be able to walk out of the store with a brand-new card within minutes.
  • You can spend the gift card right away – Since you’re exchanging your card for a Target gift card, you can use it right away, during the same trip where you exchange your old card! This makes it incredibly convenient to spend the value of your new card.
  • There is absolutely no risk – Target is a reputable company, and you don’t have to worry about being ripped off when selling a gift card. If you sell a gift card online to an individual buyer on eBay, for example, they may claim it never arrived and dispute the charges – and you could never get the money.

    There is no risk of anything like that happening at Target. You give your card to the associate, get a Target gift card, and you’re done – no chance of losing the value of your gift card!
  • Incredibly easy – You don’t have to fill out any complex online forms or register for an account to trade your gift card at Target. If you are not super tech-savvy, or you have a loved one who wants to sell a gift card online but is intimidated by it, this makes Target a good choice for trading in gift cards.
  • Does not require giving away any personal information online – Despite advances in online encryption that make it safe, some people still feel uncomfortable when giving online sellers information about where they live, their phone number, and other personal information that could be used for identity theft.

    Your data is stored directly at Target when you trade in a gift card, so you don’t have to worry about it being stolen by a malicious gift card buyer or an identity thief. This gives you peace of mind.
  • You can buy other gift cards with your Target gift card – This may seem silly, but it’s true! Of course, you will end up with a lower overall balance, but you are allowed to use a Target gift card to buy other gift cards that Target sells.

    Some stores have a policy against this, but usually this only applies to prepaid VISA and American Express “open-loop” gift cards. However, some stores won’t allow you to buy any gift cards with your Target card. It depends on the management policies of the individual store.

    If you are told you can’t buy any other gift card with your Target gift card balance, don’t worry – you can just buy gift cards with it online! Target.com will allow you to spend your gift card balance on any gift card listed on the website.


The convenience of the Target Gift Card Trade-In Program is not without its drawbacks. Here are a few of the “cons” of choosing to use the Target Gift Card Trade-In Program.

  • Lower overall payouts – Typically, you will get a lower price for trading in your gift card than you would if you sold it yourself online. This is the price that you pay for convenience. It may not be significant if you’re only selling a $20 gift card – but if you have a high-value, $100-$200 gift card, you may end up losing quite a bit of money on the trade-in.
  • Not all cards are accepted – Target does not accept all gift cards. Fast food restaurants and online stores, for example, are pretty much excluded from their list of accepted cards. If you have a card that’s not accepted at Target, you won’t be able to trade it in.

    EJ Gift Cards, on the other hand, accepts hundreds of gift cards – including quite a few that are not accepted at Target, like eBay and Amazon.com
  • You can only get a quote in-person, not online – One nice thing about selling gift cards online is that you can get quotes from several websites from the comfort of your own home. This way, you can get the best price for the gift card that you are selling.

    In contrast, you can’t call Target for a quote, or get a quote for your card online. You must go the store in-person – so if you end up getting a quote that is too low or that you don’t want to accept, you might end up wasting your time.
  • Not all Target stores participate in the program – While most stores do participate in the program, not all of them do. You may not be near any Target store that allows you to trade in gift cards – so you may not even have the option to do so.
  • You can only get a Target gift card, not cash – This is probably the biggest drawback of the Target trade-in program. Sure, you can buy just about anything with a Target gift card – but you can’t deposit it in a bank account, or use it like cash.

    When you sell gift cards online with EJ Gift Cards, you get cash via Paypal – so you can spend the value of your gift card on whatever you want. When you trade in with Target, your options are much more restricted.

With this pros and cons list, you’re sure to be able to find out whether trading in your gift card is right for you – or if you should consider selling your gift card online for cash.

Don’t Want A Target Gift Card? Sell Unwanted Gift Cards For PayPal With EJ Gift Cards!

While the Target Gift Card Trade-In Program is safe, convenient, and fast, it does not really give you the best value for your gift card, and there are quite a few gift cards that are not accepted.

So if you want to get a great value for your card, get paid in cash, and sell cards that are not accepted at Target, EJ Gift Cards is a wonderful choice. Take a look at the gift cards we accept, and learn the basics about our selling process – then get a no-commitment offer for your gift card.

And if you’re interested in buying gift cards at a discount, we’ve got you covered. We sell gift cards from hundreds of top companies – at market-leading rates! Take a look at what we sell, and start saving money today.