According to a survey by the folks over at WalletHub, gift cards were the most popular type of present for the 13th consecutive year in 2019. If you were the recipient of your most desired gift—a gift card to your favorite retailer or service, that’s fantastic.
But sometimes a gift card doesn’t quite hit the mark, making its way to the back of a wallet, the bottom of a drawer or—gasp!—hopelessly lost in all the spent gift wrap and ribbon that was hauled to the trash.
Consumers spend more than $130 billion on gift cards per year—and roughly $1 billion goes unspent. Every year! Believe it. It’s as absolutely true as it is mind-boggling.
If you got a gift card from a store you’ve never heard of or one you’ll most likely never use—you may be wondering if there’s a way you can exchange it for cash.
Good news. There is. And not only that new gift card. You may be able to get cash for other gift cards you’ve been collecting—even the ones that you’ve used but still have a decent balance remaining.
You’ll never recoup 100% back on online gift card exchanges. That’s because the exchange itself typically takes a small fee, and shoppers using the exchange won’t want to pay full price to buy a gift card secondhand.
But if you exchange your gift card online, you should be able to recoup at least half of the full value, and hopefully a lot more than that.
There are a number of gift card exchange websites that will offer you cash or another retailer’s gift card in exchange for the one you cannot use. I’ve mentioned some of these sites in the past—each of which has its pros and cons. For sure, it pays to shop around.
There are a number of reasons that we now recommend Raise as the most reliable and best online site to trade or sell your unwanted gift cards. It’s also a great place to purchase unwanted, secondhand gift cards at a discount.
Listing is free
At Raise, there are no upfront fees to list your gift card for sale. That removes the risk.
You can sell any gift card or store credit, even if it has been partially used. Raise retains 15% of the selling price as its fee, which is considerably less than most of its competitors.
Raise has become such a leader in the secondary gift card market, most cards sell within 24 hours. Even if it longer, your gift card will eventually sell and sooner than you might imagine.
You set the price
If you checked out other sites, you know that as a seller you don’t control the resale value of your card. They set the discount price and act as a kind of middleman. But not at Raise. You list your card(s) and then name the amount you are willing to take for it
Generally, gift cards for big retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Safeway, and so forth, are the most valuable and sell quickly for small discounts, like 5% of their value.
Common gift cards will have appeal, but even gift cards to local stores will sell since people will look and see what is available for their area.
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You retain control
Let’s say you list a $100 gift card from Bed Bath and Beyond at a 5% discount. That means you would sell it for $95, Raise would take its fee of 15% and send you $80.25 via Direct Deposit, PayPal, or a check in the mail.
But after three days, no one has stepped up to buy your card. You decide to offer a better discount to attract more buyers. As a Raise seller, you can adjust or even unlist your card, anytime.
My experience and research indicate that buyers are becoming more and more comfortable with Raise than any other similar site, which is great for sellers. Raise is getting rave reviews. Buyers trust Raise.
Since Raise is a Rakuten retailer, buyers with Rakuten accounts get 1% cash-back on Raise purchases. That only improves customer loyalty, which is great for sellers.
Rakuten is a free rebate site that you’ve read about here. I hope you are already earning cash-back rebates when you shop online at any number of popular retailers like Macy’s, Old Navy, Kohl’s, Lowes, Groupon and now Raise, too. If not, click here to open your free account. It’s super easy and quite amazing how much you can earn on purchases you would have made anyway.)
I didn’t know how much I would appreciate the Raise 1-year, 100% money-back guarantee until I became a Raise customer and purchased a $100 Chico’s gift card at a 30% discount.
I used that gift card the same day I purchased it (never hang onto a gift card—use it or you could lose it for any number of reasons).
A few weeks later, I received a message from Raise. They had good and bad news for me. The bad news was that the gift card had been stolen and its value determined to be null and void. The good news? In keeping with its 100% guarantee, Raise had already refunded the total amount of my gift card purchase. I checked, and sure enough there it was—a full refund. No hassles, no surprises—just great customer service.
To turn your gift card(s) into cash start by clicking on Sell.
Next, enter the information for the gift card you want to sell. Raise will show you current listings for the retailer, the value of each card, and its sales percentage so you can see your competition and set your price accordingly.
You can list any gift card as an e-gift card, which reduces your listing fee. In this case, instead of shipping a gift card, only the serial number and PIN are delivered to the buyer.
Last, enter the current balance of your card and choose your selling price.
For any price you enter, you’ll see your final payout estimate. You can adjust it depending on how much cash you want to make.
Once your card sells and is delivered to the buyer, the cash is yours!