If you’re like most people, you have an unwanted gift card or two lying around, just waiting to be used or disposed of. What you may not realize, though, is that every day these gift cards don’t get spent, they’re actually costing you money. While it may not require any cash to maintain them in that junk drawer, you’re missing out on the cash you could get from the gift cards if you just traded them in or sold them.
Unfortunately, most people don’t know what to do with unwanted gift cards, and they just keep sitting around, as a result. Luckily, that ends today!
We’re here to help you understand what to do with unwanted gift cards, and how to break the cycle of collecting but not using them.
How Many People Have Unwanted Gift Cards?
The truth is that many people do! According to the New York Post, a whopping $750 million in gift cards went unused in 2014 alone! This is a huge number, and it shines a light on just how many gift cards are wasting away in drawers around the country. If you’re one of those people with an unused gift card sitting around, you’re contributing to that massive dollar amount that goes to waste every single year.
Fortunately you can change that, starting now.
5 Smart Uses for Unwanted Gift Cards
Even if you don’t dine at Applebee’s or shop at Target, there are things you can do with those gift cards to prevent them from going to waste. Here are our five top options:
1. Give them away
Do a little good to get a little good by giving your gift cards away to someone who would use them. If you have a friend that loves the retailer that issued your cards, or simply needs a little pick-me-up, consider gifting him or her your gift cards for their personal use. This takes the card off of your hands and sends it to someone that will use it at the very same time.
2. Trade it at a trade-in kiosk
Stores like Target and Walmart have recently begun to offer trade kiosks for their customers. At these kiosks, you can trade in your unwanted gift card for a gift card of your choice. Designed to be simple, fast, and convenient, these trade-in options won’t get you the most money for your card, but they are great choices for people who just want to get the process over with.
3. Sell it online
One popular option for people who want to find out what to do with unwanted gift cards is to sell them online. Today, there are dozens of gift card sales sites that will take your unwanted gift cards and trade them out for cash or other gift cards. Simply input your card information, get an instant offer, and verify your identity to receive your pay-out. It’s that simple. Ideal for people who want to get rid of gift cards in the safest and fastest way possible, this option has been helping people cope with their unwanted cards for years.
4. Use it to buy needed household items
Many cards, like those to Amazon, Walmart, or Target, can be used to purchase relevant household and pantry items, like dry food, cleaning supplies, and more. Even if there’s nothing you’d like to buy for yourself with the card you were given, consider using it to stock up on things for the home.
5. Get gifts for your loved ones
So maybe Gap isn’t your style, but is there a friend or loved one who would adore a Gap sweater? If so, consider using your gift card to purchase gifts for the people around you. In addition to the fact that this saves you money out-of-pocket for events like Christmas, this is also a fantastic way to get the gifts you want for the people you love.
If you’ve always wondered what to do with unwanted gift cards, these five options are a fantastic place to start. Regardless of whether you choose to give your card to a friend or family member, or sell it online for some quick cash, each of these unique steps can help ensure that you’re not one of the people contributing to the millions of unused gift cards each year!