What to Do With All Those Gift Cards You Just Got
The gifting season isn’t even over, and you’re probably staring at a small pile of gift cards. That’s fine and all, but what if you don’t need fast fashion, fast casual, or whatever it is you can get with that card your crazy aunt sent you? Have no fear, WIRED is here with a rundown of all the ways you can use that gift card you can’t use.
It’s the oldest trick in the book: Get gift card, forget to get someone a gift, use gift card as a gift for someone else. You absolutely will forget to buy someone something. Worse yet, you might be the subject of a surprise present; who knew that your brother-in-law’s best friend Brian was swinging by with gifts for everyone!? Certainly not you! Rifle through your stash, and regift away. Don’t even feel guilty; it’s not like you’re pawning off a homemade scarf. That $25 to the Olive Garden didn’t have your name on it. It had no one’s name on it. Really, it had everyone’s name on it. In this case, it had Brian’s name all over it!
There are a few gift cards people get every year. Amazon, Target, iTunes, Starbucks, and others are so common you could create a playing deck with them. Rather than stack them up, busting your wallet, or losing $5 here and $15 there, consolidate them. Add them to a digital wallet service like Google Wallet or Apple Pay, or use an app like GoWallet or Gyft to keep track of everything. Most popular retailers, including Starbucks and Target, have apps that let you transfer the value of a gift card onto them.
If you’re a good and selfless person, you will donate them to charity. Charity Choice lets you find the retailer of your card, enter its details, and choose where to donated the dough. Works of Life helps you do the same thing for people in need. Both are tax deductible.
Oh joy. You got a Sephora gift card, when you could really use is an REI card. Well, odds are, someone out there has an REI card and wanted a Sephora card. You’re in luck! Exchanging your cards is a breeze.Services like Giftcard Zen, Cardpool, and Raise all have bustling gift card exchanges where you can find someone to trade with.
Or maybe you just want cash instead of a moderately thoughtful gift someone grabbed in the checkout line. Hit up Gift Card Granny. It’ll show you where to get top dollar for your card (you won’t get face value, but a percentage of it), and whether you’re better off trading it for cash immediately or selling it on a secondary market. It’ll even provide links to the best deal. It’s damn near idiot-proof.
If you want the sweet, sweet sensation of instant satisfaction, head to your nearest Coinstar Exchange kiosk. Make sure to bring your driver’s license or ID and a credit or debit card. Oh, and check to see if Coinstar accepts your card. That “good for one back rub” promotion your boyfriend gave you isn’t going to make the cut. No one wants that.