Chances are you received a gift card this past holiday season. And if you didn’t, search your wallet, purse, or dresser drawer and you might find a gift card partially or completely unused. About two-thirds of American consumers have bought gift cards, but between 2005-2011 more than $41 billion of those cards went unused.
Before you lose out on your gift card’s value, here are a few tips on what can you do with a gift card you don’t want:
1. Trade it in for cash
Yes, it is possible to trade in your gift card for money, but be prepared to lose a percentage of its face value.
If you’d like to trade in your card, check out these websites:
Gift Card Granny — sell your unwanted gift card for a percentage of its face value. The amount you’ll get back depends on the popularity of your card.
Plastic Jungle — sell your card (even one that’s partially used) for a percentage of its face value, or to earn miles on United.
Raise — choose your own price to sell your gift card in an online marketplace.
Cardpool — sell your card for up to 92 percent cash back.
CardCash — sell your sell your card for a percentage of its value.
2. Trade it for a card you do want
So you don’t shop at Victoria’s Secret, but you do shop at Target? Many of the websites listed above not only allow consumers to buy and sell cards, but they also allow you to trade your cards in for others. But please, make sure you actually trade in your unwanted card for one you plan to use this time.
3. Donate it
The website GiftCardGiver allows consumers to mail in their unwanted (and even partially used) cards and finds nonprofits to donate them to. Even if you don’t want to use a third-party website, consider donating your card anyway. There are countless charities and nonprofits that could use the card to buy supplies, attire, and other items to benefit Americans in need.
4. Re-gift it
It’s free. It’s easy. It gets rid of your card without much work and takes care of another trip to the store to find a gift. Just make sure the person you’re re-gifting to didn’t give you the card in the first place!
5. Sell it on eBay or Craigslist
Everyone is looking for a deal these days. While you may not get the full value of your gift card back, you should be able to earn a good portion of it. But keep in mind that you will have to add the costs of mailing and shipping the card off to whoever wins it.