If you were hoping for a gift card for Dunkin Donuts but Santa brought you one for Starbucks instead, you’re not out of luck. All you need is a quick trip to a website where you can trade or sell your unwanted gift cards.
Gift cards have become a go-to holiday gift. In fact, an October National Retail Federation survey showed that 58.8 percent of people wanted to receive a gift card this holiday season. With gift card spending estimated to be almost $26 billion this year, it’s almost a sure thing you probably received a gift card in your stocking.
Looking for a way to handle gift card exchanges on your smartphone? Raise offers both a well-designed website and iOS and Android apps with easy, step-by-step instructions for buying or selling gift cards.
Raise accepts gift cards from any retailer. You can sell partially used gift cards, although physical gift cards must have a minimum balance of $10 and electronic gift cards must have a minimum balance of $1. The maximum balance for both types of gift cards is $2,000.
Raise takes a 15 percent commission from the selling price. Physical cards are transferred to e-cards whenever possible. Shipping physical gift cards costs the greater of $1 or 1 percent of the card’s value. Electronic gift cards are delivered automatically through the Raise website. Sellers get a prepaid USPS shipping label and will be paid with a check, direct deposit or PayPal after the card is delivered in three to 14 business days.
Raise offers a 100-day, 100 percent money-back guarantee, so you can buy gift cards worry free.
Where Raise sets up a marketplace of buyers and sellers who make transactions with each other, CardCash buys cards from sellers and then sells them directly to buyers. CardCash trades in cards from more than 400 retailers including Apple, Target and McDonalds.
The service will purchase your gift card for up to 92 percent of its value; you receive payment via check, direct deposit or PayPal, or you can trade your card for Amazon or CVS gift cards or United Airlines miles — a pretty cool option. Payments are made within one to two business days of receiving your card, and there is no fee for selling. If you’re buying gift cards, standard USPS shipping is free, and other options can get physical cards even more quickly. Electronic gift cards arrive within a day.
CardCash offers a 45-day guarantee ensuring the card will be valid for a month and a half after you receive it. The company recommends that you use the gift cards “right away.”
If you’re looking to get rid of unwanted cards and find others at a discount, try GiftCards.com. This service buys plastic and electronic gift cards from hundreds of retailers for cash and sells them for up to 35 percent off.
In order to be sold, cards must have a balance between $20 and $300. There is no fee for selling cards, and payment is sent via direct deposit, PayPal or check within two business days.
Then, shop for new gift cards from a variety of retailers for values of $10 to $500. You can also buy personalized Visa and MasterCard gift cards in the same value ranges. USPS first-class shipping is free, and your cards should arrive within five to ten business days; expedited USPS and FedEx services are also available.
GiftCards.com offers both iOS and Android apps. It boasts a Better Business Bureau A rating and is a Google Trusted Store, so Google will help resolve any issues you have with the site and offers $1,000 of purchase protection. GiftCards.com offers a one-year guarantee for gift cards bought from its site.