Most major gift card exchange sites offer similar services, but 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 cards that 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.
For other giving as well as receiving options, take a look at our Gift Baskets and Online Flower Delivery comparisons. Both of these sites highlight vendors who offer new gift cards for a variety of goods. To learn more, read our articles on gift card exchange services.
Best for Selling Plastic Cards
While most gift card exchange services have options for buying and selling electronic cards, not all deal in plastic cards. This is in part because selling plastic cards to an exchange service can be a hassle, often requiring shipping fees, postage materials and a trip to the post office. In reality, though, many people choose give physical cards as gifts, so odds are good you'll have a physical card to a retailer you don't use at some point. Cardpool helps reduce the hassle of selling your physical gift cards by providing a free shipping label for mailing in your plastic gift card or, depending on your card, you can enter your card information into the site and exchange it for a new gift card or have a check mailed to you.
Selling your gift cards to Cardpool is straightforward and a big reason we consider it one of the best gift card services out there. The service has few restrictions on the kinds of gift cards it buys. It does not accept any gift cards that have a balance below $10, and while most services have a maximum amount it will take, this site has no cap on how much a gift card can have on it. For most gift cards, the service pays you up to 92 percent of the balance.
Biggest Inventory and Search Options
Raise and GiftCardBin have a large inventory of cards to choose from and plenty of search tools to help you find what you are looking for. They have user-friendly websites that make buying and selling cards a straightforward process. They each let you list any type of card and name your price, as long as you meet the minimum $10 card value requirement. These services also have options for both electronic and plastic cards, though you may have to pay extra charges when mailing and receiving physical cards.
GiftCardBin is a standard service that buys and sells gift cards. If you are uncertain about how to exchange gift cards, you will be pleased to see this site has few restrictions on the gift cards it purchases from you. It does, however, have a minimum exchange amount of $10 and a maximum of $300, but the service does not charge any additional fees, and it even accepts gift cards with expiration dates. As a buyer, you can find cards on its site discounted as much as 33 percent.
Raise serves as a gift card marketplace where a gift card’s discount and shipment are at the discretion of each individual seller. The well-organized interface makes finding gift cards easy. After registering with Raise or logging in through Facebook, you control how much to charge for your gift card.
Best for Swapping
Although we refer to these services as gift card exchanges, most of them pay you cash for gift cards you don’t want and you can then use the cash however you want, including buying a gift card that you’ll use. However, there isn’t a lot of actual card-for-card exchanging going on. CardCash.com and GiftCardSwapping.com are two sites that let you swap one card directly for another of equal value. With CardCash you simply use PayPal to purchase the gift card you want and the service reimburses you once they receive the card you are trading. When you trade through GiftCardSwapping.com you have the advantage of trading a physical or electronic card of equal value without losing any money on the trade. Selling cards, in contrast, involves a loss of profit to varying degrees, so it’s nice to avoid that by swapping. Both of these services also accept cards with expiration dates.
GiftCardSwapping.com is a site that accepts most gift cards, whether they are standard or electronic. This gift card exchange service does not have many restrictions, and there is no minimum or maximum exchange amount. Likewise, it accepts gift cards with an expiration date. You can also trade for gift cards of equal value and eliminate fees.
With CardCash.com, you have several buying and selling options with few restrictions. This gift card exchange service does not have a minimum or maximum exchange amount. It accepts your gift card even if it only has a $1 balance. The service’s sell page lists the price it pays for most cards, with 92 percent of a card’s balance being the maximum it will pay out. After you sell your gift card, CardCash pays you either with a check, through PayPal or you can get slightly more money by trading it for a gift card like Amazon or eBay.
Maximizing Returns on Gift Card Exchanges
Whether you’re buying or selling gift cards through these services, you will want to get the best deal possible and find the service with the features you need. You should be aware of special features that you don’t find with every service. One such feature is a mobile gift card option that lets you redeem cards on your phone. Another uncommon feature is receiving a notification when a card you have been looking for becomes available. Here are some more things to be aware of when looking for the right service.
Get the Most for Your Money
If you know where to exchange gift cards for cash, 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 displays 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 can take a substantial percentage of your payment. The best services do not have these restrictions.
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 save by using their services. The maximum discount percentage refers to the most discounted card on each company’s site.
Find the Right Features for You
If you do not 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, companies will often 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 you can find a 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 is to find that perfect gift card.
The transaction process requires both trust and credibility. A guarantee confirms that in the event something goes wrong, you will get your money back. Besides looking for a money-back guarantee, we evaluated companies based on whether they offer a FAQs page on their websites to 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 want to be able to contact the company with ease.
Your unwanted gift cards can do more than weigh down your wallet or collect dust in a drawer. Instead, sell them to a gift card exchange service. Whether you sell or trade your unwanted gift cards, you then have the chance to get something you want, which is what the person who gave you the card intended all along.