No matter what holiday it is, you always find yourself opening that one present: a gift card you know you'll never use. Rather than keeping your gift card in your wallet on the off chance you find yourself using it, you can sell your gift card to a gift card exchange service and use the money for something you have always wanted. These services usually sell gift cards as well. Gift card exchange services make the selling and buying process simple and convenient.
In our gift card exchange review, we rated the leading gift card exchange services to help you choose the best option. When you're selling your gift card, look for services that offer a percentage close to the original value of the card. The best services will offer free shipping and reimburse you as quickly as possible. When buying, look for gift cards that are highly discounted from the card’s balance. We found that Cardpool, Raise and Card Hub are the best gift card exchange services available. To learn more, read our articles on gift card exchange services.
While gift card exchange sites offer basically the same services, they differ greatly in policies and features. Most sites offer to buy, sell or exchange your gift cards, as well as offering a multitude of discounted gift cards to various retailers. The best gift card services offer discounts on gift cards that will translate into savings for you. The buying and selling options are what set one site apart from another. If the site has favorable policies and few restrictions, it improves the likelihood that you can sell your card for the maximum amount. Additionally, a site’s features, website design and support section all serve as factors in determining the best gift card exchange service for you to use.
Buying & Selling
In order to see which site offers the best rate, we sold $50 Walmart gift cards to each exchange service. Walmart’s gift cards offer a close percentage to the maximum payout for most sites, so it clearly shows which sites generally offer the most money for a gift card. No company will pay 100 percent of the balance on the card, but most will pay at least 90. Companies vary in this area due to their card inventory, the market value of the card and the process by which they buy and sell gift cards.
Gift card exchange sites vary in the type of cards they buy and sell. The best sites will buy and sell a gift card in any format you offer. All of the sites we reviewed accept the standard plastic gift card. However, selling that card requires shipping fees, postage materials and a trip to the post office. Then you have to wait for the service to get your card before they mail you a payment. Some sites will take the code off a plastic gift card and convert it to an electronic gift card that can be used online. This is the more preferable method for selling because the transaction happens immediately. Some services also deal with mobile gift cards, but most do not. A mobile gift card consists of a code that will show on mobile devices, and it generally works the same way a plastic gift card would at any store. It combines the best features of standard and electronic gift cards.
Each site has its own set of restrictions. Most have a different maximum and minimum exchange amount, which can be troublesome if you have either a low- or high-quantity gift card. Some sites have buying and selling fees that will take a substantial percentage of your payment. The best services will not have these restrictions in place.
After you have sold your card, most sites will give you a few different payment options, including cash, check, PayPal, Amazon.com gift cards or company credit. Some will even allow you to exchange one gift card for another. When buying a gift card, look for sites that offer large discounts. The higher the discount, the more money you will save by using their services. The maximum discount percentage refers to the most discounted card on each company’s site.
Gift card exchange services share similar features that help make the gift card swap a smooth process. Most of the sites refuse to buy gift cards with expiration dates. While this limits the kind of gift cards you can sell, it also means that there is no risk in buying a gift card that will expire soon either.
If you don't find the gift card you are looking for, most sites allow you to sign up for notifications. Once the site has your card, they will email you. Additionally, look for sites that offer free shipping. Whether you are buying or selling gift cards, most companies will pay for shipping or reimburse you. Many sites even offer bulk buying and selling programs where you can purchase a large quantity of cards at even more discounted prices.
The best gift card exchange sites are the ones with the highest variety of merchants. However, without an effective filtering process, finding a specific gift card can be nearly impossible. Most sites have a general search engine and a retailer search option so that you can find a gift card to a specific place. Some sites take it a step further and offer searches by category, price and discount. The more search options, the easier it will be to find that perfect gift card.
Help & Support
The transaction process requires both trust and credibility. A guarantee confirms that in the event that something goes wrong, you will get your money back. A FAQs page will also address common problems and solutions. Additionally, the best sites have several different forms of communication. Whether they offer phone, email or an online contact form, you will want to be able to contact the company with ease.
Your unwanted gift cards can do more than weigh down your wallet. Instead, sell them to a gift card exchange service. Whether you sell or trade your gift cards in for another, you can purchase something you want, which is what the gift was intended to do in the first place.