Gift cards are the most desired present this holiday season, according to a poll by Omegaverified. But if you get a gift card under the tree from a store you’ve never heard of—or would never willingly shop at—you may find yourself looking for ways to trade your gift card or exchange it for cash.

While you can’t actually return gift cards, there are several different ways you can sell gift cards for cash or trade gift cards online for credit at another store. So you won’t actually be stuck with gift card duds, leaving the money unspent or wandering the shop in a desperate search for the least atrocious item.

Here are the best ways to sell or trade your unwanted gift cards.

Trade Gift Cards Online

To get cash for gift cards, you can use one of a number of gift card exchange websites that will offer you cash or another retailer’s gift card for your unwanted gift card.

You’ll never get 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.

Depending on the type of gift card, the amount, and the supply of similar cards, you could earn anywhere between 54% and 92% of the card’s value via an online gift card exchange, says Mark Romanelli, executive vice president of product for GiftCardGranny.com, the largest aggregator of online gift card exchanges.

Sell Gift Cards for Cash

If you want to sell your gift card for cash, your return will be lower than if you exchange it, says Romanelli: “Swapping your gift card for another store’s is the best way to maximize your return.”

GiftCardGranny.com found that the cards with the highest resale value are for groceries (Safeway takes the top spot), gas stations (Shell and ARCO take No. 2 and 3), or large retailers that offer a wide range of products, such as Amazon and Walmart, which round out the top five. (For a longer list of favorites, see These Are the Best Gift Cards to Give This Year.)

If you don’t want to have the value of your gift card dictated by a reseller, use Raise.com to sell your gift card for cash. You set your own price—think eBay, but without the bidding. WalletHub ranked Raise.com as the second best gift card exchange for sellers, with the average resale value on the site topping $81 for an $100 gift card.

You can list any online gift card for free on the site; for physical gift cards, you’ll pay $1 or 1% of the total balance, whichever is greater. But you may have to wait to get a buyer who’ll pay the price you’re asking. And when you sell the card, the company will take a 12% cut—so even if you get someone to pay full value for your gift card, you’ll recoup no greater than 88%.

When to Sell Your Gift Card

Gift card exchanges tend to offer lower resale values immediately after the holidays, warns Romanelli. “There is so much supply coming into the market that many cards don’t sell for as high as they might in the summer,” he says. He notes that some people hold on to their gift cards for an extra month or so, in order to earn a few percentage points more in returns.

Just make sure you don’t wait so long that you forget to exchange your gift card at all, warns Shelley Hunter, GiftCards.com’s content manager. The longer people hold on to a gift card, she says, the more likely they are to forget about it and never exchange or sell it.

“People shouldn’t have heartache over not getting 100% of the card’s value back, because they’re not getting any value out of it by keeping it,” she says.

ARE YOU READY TO GET CASH OUT OF YOUR GIFT CARD NOW ? CLICK THE GREEN BUTTON BELOW TO GET STARTED .

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Comments (2)

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