Trading Gift Cards for Cash

When asked about gift cards, one person commented, "I actually have a stack of gift cards that people have given me that I don't have time to use."
Another said, "I get them and I end up not using them."
Is your wallet full of gift cards you haven't used? Consumer Reports ShopSmart checked out seven websites where you can sell your cards for cash.
Lisa Lee Freeman with Consumer Reports found, "It turns out you can sell unwanted gift cards for up to 90 percent of the card's value."
ShopSmart checked just how much it could get at each of the sites for a variety of gift cards. They included Applebee's, Bath & Body Works, The Gap, Kohl's, Macy's, Payless, Pier 1, and Walmart. For a $50 Gap card, prices ranged from $32.50 to $40.
Freeman says, "We found in our search that Walmart's card was the most valuable."
When ShopSmart checked, the sites that paid the best prices were Plastic Jungle and Card Pool. But no one site always had the best deals, so you've got to shop around.
These sites will also let you BUY gift cards at a discount.
Freeman says, "You could pay just $40 dollars for a $50 gift card. That's ten dollars saved right there. But you have to be careful."
When buying a gift card, be sure to look for a guarantee on the site.
Freeman adds, "If the site doesn't have a guarantee, you could be out of luck if the card turns out to be invalid or if it has less than the advertised value."
And don't lose that gift card. You won't be able to replace it because you won't have a receipt.
The government is also getting ready to help people who've got gift cards they haven't used. In August, new federal rules will make it illegal for gift cards to expire within five years after they've been purchased or reloaded with additional funds.

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