We spent over 85 hours researching the best gift card exchanges by looking at the amount of money each site will pay you to sell gift cards you don’t need. We also researched the discount you can get if you buy gift cards from the site. We made sure to include websites that allow you to swap your gift cards directly for other cards.
Best for Selling Gift Cards
Best for Selling Gift Cards: Cardpool
You can sell your unwanted gift cards online for the most money if you sell them through Cardpool. This company reduces 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, letting you enter your card information into the site to exchange it without the hassle of shipping. You can also choose to have a check mailed to you. As long as your gift card has a balance higher than $10, you can sell it to Cardpool and get cash for your cards that are collecting dust.
Best for Buying Discounted Gift Cards
Best for Buying Discounted Gift Cards: Raise
Raise has a large inventory of cards to choose from and plenty of search tools to help you find gift cards that are anywhere from 1 to 20 percent off, and sometimes higher. This website is user-friendly and makes buying discounted gift cards a straightforward process. You can search for both electronic and plastic cards, though you may have to pay extra charges when mailing and receiving physical cards. Raise has a mobile app for iOS and Android devices that lets you search for discounted cards on your phone, and you can drill down and search for cards that have the highest discounts.
Best for Trading Your Cards for Other Cards
Best for Trading Your Cards for Other Cards: CardCash.com
Although we refer to these services as gift card exchanges, most of them simply pay you cash for your unwanted cards. When you trade through CardCash.com, you have the advantage of trading for a physical or electronic card from a different retailer. CardCash still won’t give you the full value of your card, but you can trade a $50 gift card for around a $40 card from another retailer. The exchange rate depends on the popularity of the cards you’re trading in and getting back.
Maximizing Returns on Gift Card Exchanges
Selling your gift cards in person gets you cash right away and you won’t have to wait for a company to receive your gift card in the mail before you get your payment. However, most people sell their gift cards online because you can get higher returns and it can be hard to find a physical store that buys gift cards. Monster Gift Card is one of the few services we researched that has physical locations that will give you cash for your cards.
One feature to be aware of is mobile gift cards, which are only offered by some websites. 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. GiftCards.com has a simple search where you can find eGift cards directly from its site.
Each site has its own set of restrictions. Most have different maximum and minimum exchange amounts, which can be troublesome if you’re trying to sell either a low- or high-balance gift card. Generally, your card has to have a minimum balance of $10. The maximum amount varies from site to site but is somewhere between $200 and $400. 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 gift cards or company credit. Some, like CardCash, will allow you to exchange one gift card for another.
If you do not find the gift card you’re looking for, most sites allow you to sign up to be notified when that card is available. 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 specific card. 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.
All the websites we researched offer guarantees on your purchases. These guarantees confirm that, in the event something goes wrong like your card arrives without the advertised funds, you will get your money back. Besides looking for a money-back guarantee, we researched whether companies 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. By selling them to a gift card exchange service you have the chance to get something you want, which is what the person who gave you the card intended all along.