What to Do With Gift Cards That You Have No Use For

The gift card might be considered a tacky present, but you can’t deny its usefulness. It serves the perfect middle ground for a gift-giver who wants to show a little thoughtfulness while also leaving the gift fairly open for the gift-receiver to find something they really want. However, giving gift cards doesn’t always go perfectly, resulting in cards that go unused, expired, and ultimately, wasted. If you’ve found yourself on the receiving end of poorly-considered gift cards, here are your options.

Return Them for Cash

This will likely be your first go-to option. Naturally, each store’s return policy differs, especially during the holiday season, and their options for returning gift cards might actually differ from the options concerning other products as well. So, you’ll want to do a little research before you try returning your gift cards. There is a chance that you’ll need a receipt in order to make the exchange, so whether or not you want to ask the gift-giver for the receipt will be up to you.

Trade Them for Other Gift Cards (or Money)

If it’s been too long since the gift cards were bought, or for some other reason you can’t return them, you can still get your money’s worth back. Unwanted gift cards are not a rare phenomenon, so multiple online marketplaces have sprung up in the past years to cater to those looking to sell and trade unwanted cards for cash or ones that are more relevant. You might even have better luck asking around your family and friends. Nothing beats skipping the middleman and getting cash in return.

Regift Them

Sure, regifting something that was gifted to you might be a little tacky, but if no one’s the wiser, what’s the big deal? If you know someone who has a birthday coming up and you don’t know what to get them, this can be the (gift) card up your sleeve. There are a few caveats to this option, though. First, you’ll need to be sure that the gift cards don’t expire in the meantime, or that they haven’t already. Also, don’t make the same mistake that the original gift-giver made. Be sure that this recipient will actually have a use for these cards!

Give Them Away to Charity

Maybe you don’t have anyone in mind to regift the gift cards to. That doesn’t mean they have to sit and go unused. There are plenty of people in need out there, and for lack of better uses, you could put those unused gift cards toward helping someone. There are a few charitable organizations out there that accept gift cards, but you might even find that your local shelters and thrift stores would be happy to accept them.

Reassess How You Could Use Them

Just because the gift card is for a merchandiser you might not shop at, you might be surprised to find that they carry some products you can still make use of. If not, you could ask the gift-giver how they might spend the gift card. They’ll probably be happy to share with you some tips on how to best spend the money. At worst, you could always buy a product with the gift card and then give that item away – or sell it.

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