Best gift card exchange sites 2024: Gift card exchange for cash

Best gift card exchange sites 2022: Gift card exchange for cash
(Image credit: ShutterStock)

Ever received a gift card for somewhere you never shop? Exchanging gift cards for cash is what these dedicated websites are all about, so you can finally make use of the money sitting on a gift card from your relative who won't stop asking if you've spent it. The drawback of these sites is that there is often a fee associated with exchanging the card, along with the fact that you may not get the full value of the gift card in cash. However, it's far better than it sitting in a cupboard gathering dust! Most sites featured in this guide offer between 80-85% of the value of the gift card, offering you the chance to still put the cash to good use.

Sites have advanced so that you don't need to have a physical copy of the gift card, either. You can now exchange digital codes and credit due to an increase in e-gift carding. It's always good to be wary of less reputable websites as some will sneak in hidden fees, or withhold payment, wasting your time and money. To give you peace of mind, we've included tried and trusted sites within this guide alongside ones that were less unreliable, so you can exchange your gift card with confidence.

Some of these exchange sites also sell 'second hand cards' at a lower rate. If you know you're going to shop at a specific retailer, this can be a great opportunity to score a great deal. However, on more unsavoury websites these codes may not be valid or may have already been used, so it's always worth doing your research ahead of purchasing. For more help on deciding where to shop, check out our guides to the best auction sites and the best online shoe stores.

1. Raise: Best gift card exchange overall

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Raise Gift Card Martketplace

(Image credit: Raise)
This is the gift card exchange company we’d recommend


Buys physical cards?: Yes
Buys store credit?: Yes - limited
Maximum payment: Up to 85% of value

Reasons to buy

Informative and user-friendly website and app
BBB accredited with an impressive A rating
Cards are guaranteed for 1 year

Reasons to avoid

Slower payout times than competitors

With a well-designed website, Raise is an easy gift card exchange website to use. The layout is clean, modern, and it's clear where to go to buy, sell, and earn rewards. There's a free mobile app too which has the same design ethos and is equally simple to navigate. From the moment you purchase a gift card, Raise will give you an entire year to refund your purchase price if the physical card doesn't arrive, has an incorrect balance, or is just simply not the card you ordered.

In our experience, Raise has offered us good money for our gift cards and had deals on top retailers with the additional benefit of cashback where gift cards weren't available. You're promised around 85-90% of the value when exchanging gift cards for cash, which is on the lower end among other exchange sites. However, some websites can levy hidden fees, so we found that the final amount was quite comparable.

With the option of being paid via PayPal, direct deposit, and a check in the mail (which comes with a large fee, so we recommend avoiding this option), there's guaranteed to be an option to suit your needs. The Better Business Bureau has also given it an impressive A rating, making it our top gift card exchange company to recommend.

2. Gift Card Spread: Best for buying cards

Gift Card Spread

(Image credit: Gift Card Spread)
A good option for great value gift cards purchases, but sell elsewhere


Buys physical cards?: Yes
Buys digital store credit?: Yes
Maximum payment: Set your price

Reasons to buy

Simple website, easy to navigate 
Some of the best deals we’ve seen 

Reasons to avoid

A laborious card sale
Poor BBB rating and a history of negative reviews

Featuring impressive discounts of up to 31%, Gift Card Spread has a large variety of gift cards to suit many different needs. The website is easy to use and quick to search gift cards alphabetically, but also be price and card type. Each retailer has a saving of 'up to' a certain amount, and you can then click through to explore the more specific options available to you.

Unfortunately, the process of selling your card is far too complicated to be worth the effort. Gift Card Spread rates highly for purchasing gift cards, especially when it comes to the user-friendly search functions, and it's best to stick to this as it's main use. For anyone looking to exchange or sell gift cards, we advise sticking to other sites that deal with this as their primary role.

3. CardCash: Best for sellers

CardCash Gift Card Exchange

(Image credit: CardCash)
The rates offered by CardCash were higher than most competitors


Buys physical cards?: Yes
Buys digital store credit?: No
Maximum payment: Up to 92% of value

Reasons to buy

User-friendly app
Fast payout
Option to trade your unwanted card 

Reasons to avoid

Misleading savings

While CardCash offers 'up to' significantly large discounts on vouchers, the reality leaves a lot to be desired. There's often less than a percentage off full retail price, which isn't worth the hassle of buying through a third-party site. If you are able to find a good price, however, there is a 45-day guarantee on all purchases to sweeten the deal.

Like some other sites in our round-up, you're likely to have more luck with selling your gift card on CardCash than you would be buying one. The rates offered by the site for selling your gift card were higher than competitors, making them a great option if you're trying to earn back the most money possible. You can also select to receive the money by PayPal or direct debit payments, so you have it in your account in a matter of days - far quicker than waiting for a check in the mail.

4. Gift Card Granny: Best selection of cards

Gift Card Granny

(Image credit: Gift Card Granny)
While it has many gift cards to buy, it doesn’t offer you the chance to sell


Buys physical cards?: Yes
Buys store credit?: No
Maximum payment: Up to 92% of value

Reasons to buy

BBB accredited with an impressive A rating
Save money on every purchase with cashback

Reasons to avoid

Modest deals which didn’t impress
It won’t buy your gift card 

A free app to use on the go boosts Gift Card Granny's rating significantly. Being able to effortlessly navigate the app on your smartphone makes it even simpler to browse through cards to buy. It has gift card options from dozens of exchange websites and retailers, offering something for everyone. Cashback is also on offer, so you can customize eGifts for sending to loved ones.

Gift Card Granny is packed with lots of useful, informative content and has tonnes of options listed available to buy, however, it doesn't offer you the chance to sell your gift card. If that's what you're looking for, then you would be better off looking at a site with this option. However, Gift Card Granny does have an extremely comprehensive list of over 1300 brands making it a one-stop-shop for buying discounted cards.

5. Card Kangaroo: A great inventory of cards

Card Kangaroo - do not look it in the eye

(Image credit: Card Kangaroo)

Card Kangaroo

A good all-rounder, with a decent selection of cards


Buys physical cards?: Yes
Buys store credit?: No
Maximum payment: Up to 85% of value

Reasons to buy

Over 1,300 cards on offer
Fast selling process
Free shipping on physical cards...

Reasons to avoid

... but you have to mail in your card

Card Kangaroo has an inventory of about 1,300 cards as of last November and has served nearly 59,000 customers. You can use this website to buy, sell or trade your unwanted gift cards or simply check the remaining balance of a card you found in your wallet. CardKangaroo guarantees the stated balance up to $500 of purchased gift cards for 100 days from the day you buy them. They accept major credit cards as well as PayPal.

If you're looking to sell cards you simply select the merchant, value of the card and get an offer from the website. This company is unique in that you'll receive a shipping label and be asked to mail your gift card in, rather than simply providing the card's number and other information. If this isn't too much of a hurdle for you, CardKangaroo is a great gift card swap option. You'll receive payment via a check in the mail or through PayPal.

If you'd rather trade for a different gift card you simply click that option after providing information about the card you no longer want. Once you've picked which gift card you want, you'll have to ship yours in before getting the one you swapped it for in the mail.

6. GiftCardBin: Good for customer satisfaction

GiftCardBin Card Exchange

(Image credit: GiftCardBin)
Customers are satisfied, but it isn't the best site out there


Buys physical cards?: Yes
Buys store credit?: No
Maximum value: Up to 85% of value

Reasons to buy

Good customer service
Some good discounts on purchases

Reasons to avoid

Not BBB accredited

If the other companies we tested aren't giving you the results you want, you might want to consider GiftCardBin. You can search by discount, store, category or your own favorites once you create an account. You can buy electronic or physical gift cards and if you choose the latter you can expect it in the mail within ten business days. Digital cards will appear in your account within two business days - longer than some promise. 

You can also get vouchers printable at home and redeemable in-store for certain retailers. We saw discounts as high as 31% during our testing, which meant you could buy a $140 Lane Bryant card for less than $100. That said, you’d need to be confident in making a large purchase for this deal to pay off. 

We saw some impressive savings with GiftCardBin, so it’s worth signing up for alerts in case any of your favorite retailers crop up with a great deal. Whilst not accredited, an A+ BBB rating indicates a high level of customer satisfaction - one of the major perks of GiftCardBin in comparison with leading sites. 

Why trust us?

We’ve been reviewing gift card exchange websites since 2010, and we know it can seem like a roller coaster. The payout for selling a card and the discounts available when buying them seem to fluctuate almost daily. That’s because it’s a supply-and-demand market. The more of a certain card a website has, the more of a discount they’ll offer on it. On the other hand, if there is a high demand for a small number of cards, the discount will be less.

The gift card market is massive. Physical cards are growing at an annual rate of 6% but digital cards are doing the same at a rate of 200%, according to CardCash.

Marina Hodges, chair of the Retail Gift Card Association said the group is made up of about 90 members representing retailers, card producers, gift card exchanges and others. She said opinions differ by retailer, but most are in support of exchanges.

“If I’m a retailer it’s great for me because then the person who has my card is going to shop with me versus throw it in a drawer,” Hodges said.

Tips and tricks

The RGCA was founded in 2008, and its goal is to grow and preserve the gift card industry. At the same time, the group recognizes the risks associated with using third-party resellers like gift card exchange websites. In an official statement on the RGCA website, users are encouraged to educate themselves on gift card exchanges before using one. It has several tips to keep in mind while shopping for gift cards to ensure you're getting a good deal and avoiding fraud:

  • Use exchange services that verify the balance of a gift card before selling it.
  • Make sure you can track your payout method through the gift card exchange website.
  • Use gift card exchanges with buyer guarantees that are in effect even after you receive your card.
  • Never give out gift card information over the phone to someone claiming to be with the police, a utility company, the government or any other third party. These agencies do not accept payment via gift card.
  • Store your cards in a secure place.
  • Until you’re ready to use the card, leave the scratch-off material on the PIN number on the back of the card.
  • Use gift cards quickly.
  • Read the fine print. Make sure gift cards don't have any extraneous fees.

Why did we not list Cardpool?

The reason we can't recommend Cardpool is that it has an F rating with the BBB, the lowest rating they give. Definitely worth taking into account! We read many reviews that suggested Cardpool did not send out cards or pay the proper amount when purchasing from sellers. As such, we cannot recommend this site, but you are obviously free to consider it.

One of Cardpool’s main advantages is its one year guarantee. Unlike competitors such as CardCash, who only guarantee for 45 days. Cardpool also gives you the option of being paid in Amazon gift cards: a unique offer among the companies we reviewed. We particularly liked the Cardpool app, which gives you access to a digital wallet and allows you to buy gift cards on the go; maybe even while waiting in line at checkout. You can pay in-store directly from your phone and get your shop for less. 

One disadvantage is the app is only available on the Apple App Store. Popular stores see lower discounts. However, it’s still a good way to save a few bucks if you’re making a bigger purchase and it’d add up over time. We saw much bigger discounts on other retailers such as American Eagle, which offered a 17% discount.

What about Cardpool kiosks?

Cardpool is unique in that it offers its gift card exchange service through kiosks. These kiosks are usually located inside another store, such as a Target, and you can locate one using Cardpool's online map search feature. Once you find a location, simply bring all your unwanted gift cards to that store and swipe them at the machine. You can also exchange electronic gift cards.

The downside is the cards must have at least $15 on them and no more than $1,000, so that Starbucks card in your wallet with a couple dollars on it won’t work. You can get up to 85 percent of the card's value at a kiosk, though your return will vary depending on the type of gift card you exchange. The kiosk prompts you to enter your personal information and then offers you cash in return for the cards. Finally, you collect your money from the store's service desk or at the kiosk if you have a reloadable Visa gift card.

To use a kiosk you need a government-issued ID, cell phone number, email address and sometimes a credit card number. This is to prevent fraud and keep someone else from collecting your cash at the store’s service desk. If you are asked to enter credit card information, Cardpool will never charge it without your permission. However, if the gift card you sell was obtained illegally, you could be charged.

If you are used to using Coinstar kiosks you probably noticed some changes in recent years. Cardpool now owns Coinstar Exchange kiosks, so these machines can also be used for counting your change and giving you cash along with exchanging your unwanted gift cards. These machines are usually green. Gift Card Exchange kiosks are yellow and only work with gift cards.

How we found the best gift card exchange websites

We went through every part of these gift card exchange websites to see how well they work and whether they’re worth your time. We bought gift cards from leading retailers and found out how much we could get in return for selling them. We also checked out how big the discounts were on cards available for purchase from top brands. When it was an option, we also downloaded the app to make sure it worked as advertised and while the majority of gift cards out there are digital, we also looked at shipping rates for shoppers looking for a physical gift card.

The number and variety of retailers you can buy gift cards on exchange websites changes all the time. Instead of trying to keep our thumb on how many individual retailers were available, we searched for three big players –  American Eagle, Macy’s and Walmart – at the same time on the same day across all the websites we tested. We then assigned a letter grade corresponding to whether the website had cards available for purchase from those retailers.

We also used the Better Business Bureau to make sure these gift card exchange websites are legitimate. The BBB is a consumer watchdog group which assigns ratings A+ through F to companies based on information from business and customer complaints. These ratings aren’t a guarantee, but they’re helpful in seeing whether businesses and websites have had consistent problems or consumer complaints.

Prepaid vs gift cards

A gift card is essentially like cash you can only spend at a specific store. You use the card until the balance is gone and then discard it, though some retailers allow you to add more money to the card so you can continue spending with it. Not all stores allow you to reload existing cards, and there's a chance the store could give you a new gift card every time you want to add money. One red flag to look for are fees, as gift cards shouldn’t have any. If a retailer tries to charge you a fee for using a gift card, we recommend using another method of payment or simply shopping elsewhere.

Prepaid cards are designed to be reloadable, and as such, they sometimes carry fees. These vary by card, so it’s important to read the fine print if you go this route. These cards are often available from credit card companies like Visa and can be used on everyday expenses. Wallet Hub found prepaid cards can cost a person up to $311 per year in fees though, so if you can, you should opt for cards directly from a bank because they have fewer fees and a more secure guarantee. Or, you can avoid this quagmire altogether and opt for a gift card. If the person can't find anything at the store it's good at, they can use a gift card exchange to swap it for one they’ll love!

Physical vs digital

When exchanging gift cards, make sure you know what you’re getting. Some websites deal only in digital gift cards. This means you’ll receive a code via email, usually within a day or two. These codes can then be used for online shopping, though most retailers will let you use them in person at the cash register if you have all the required information like the full card number and activation code. Some websites will send you a physical gift card in the mail, but that means you’ll have to wait longer for it to arrive. Our research shows it usually takes about seven business days for cards to get to you, but that’s on top of the one or two days it will take for the company to process your order and get it in the mail. If you’re in a hurry, digital gift cards are the way to go. Another thing to keep in mind when deciding between digital and physical gift cards is how organized you are. If dozens of punch cards and gift cards tend to get lost and forgotten in your wallet, a digital card will be much more useful. On the other hand, if your computer’s emails and files aren’t well organized, you might want to opt for something physical you can keep your hands on until you need it.

How much do gift card exchanges cost?

If you’re selling an unwanted gift card, exchange websites take a cut. It depends on the website, card you’re selling and overall demand, but most take 15% or less. If you’re buying gift cards you can expect to see discounts of up to 35%, meaning you’d pay $65 or more for a $100 gift card. This too depends on the retailer and demand for that card. We found these discounts to usually be a bit more modest.

Gift card selection

Because users are buying and selling cards all the time it’s difficult to say exactly how “good” one website’s selection is compared to another. While our tests looked for three well-known gift card retailers across all websites, we acknowledge this is flawed because those cards could reappear or disappear from any site at any time. What we’d recommend is to shop around; if you can’t find the gift card you want on one website, you might be able to find it on another.

Read the fine print

While you’re shopping around, make sure the website you’re using is reputable. We made sure all of the websites we reviewed were secure, but we also found some sketchier options out there we wouldn’t recommend. Make sure wherever you’re shopping has responsive customer service representatives and never give out your credit card number on websites that aren’t secure. Secure websites have a small padlock symbol in the address bar, sometimes accompanied by the word “secure.” We’d also recommend making sure wherever you’re shopping has some kind of buyer’s guarantee so you’re protected when buying from secondary sellers.

According to Wallet Hub, Amazon was the most preferred gift card last year. When you're looking at gift card exchange websites check out Cardpool, which offers Amazon gift cards in exchange for cards from retailers you don't buy from. Visa was the second most preferred gift card, followed by Walmart and then Target. Keep this in mind if you're shopping but don't know what kind of gift card to get a friend or loved one. These retailers are very popular, so the odds are this card will get used. Amazon knocked Walmart out of the No. 1 spot in 2017, which signals the rising popularity of online shopping. Some other preferred gift card brands include Kohl's, Disney, Sephora, Home Depot, McDonald's and Starbucks.

Multi-store gift cards

You've probably seen them at stores like Walmart or CVS. Usually displayed on large stands, you can oftentimes purchase gift cards from numerous retailers without having to visit the store itself. These cards usually work for restaurants or businesses that are owned by the same or partner companies. For example, a Darden Restaurants card works at Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Cheddar's and several other eateries. These cards are great if you're unsure what kind of card to get a person or simply don't know much about what they like to eat or buy. Along with more customer choice, these kinds of cards are good because you're protected in case one store or restaurant closes. They also don't have any fees.

Gift card security

Whether it’s around the holidays or not, scammers look for ways to steal information and money. You might feel safe and secure using your debit and credit cards at everyday retailers or big box stores, but some of the largest companies have experienced data breaches that left consumers vulnerable.

It might be easy to use your credit or debit card, but it’s not always safe. In December 2013, Target confirmed the credit and debit card information of roughly 40 million customers had been stolen. The number of customers affected later increased to 70 million. The New York Times reported the company ultimately paid a settlement of $18.5 million plus $202 million in legal fees, but millions still had their personal information stolen. If you shopped at Best Buy in September or October of 2017, you also may have had your information stolen. The same can be said for Sears and Delta Airlines according to USA Today.

Gift cards can help you avoid having your identity or information stolen. Simply purchase gift cards at retailers you frequent with cash and use them like debit cards. This eliminates the need to use a credit or debit card and potentially put your personal information in a vulnerable position. You can also use gift card exchange websites to acquire gift cards and use them to make everyday purchases at stores you frequent. There’s no reason to save a gift card to buy something special, and the added sense of security is a nice bonus.


Can I use a gift card anywhere?

Gift cards have to be used at the merchant that is listed on the card. This is of course not the case with multi-store cards, which usually list every store you can use it at on the card. Visa preloaded cards are also an exception, as they can be used anywhere in place of a debit or credit card or cash.

Will a gift card exchange rip me off?

The gift card exchanges we reviewed are all reputable with secure checkout, so your information stays safe. You won’t get 100 percent of the value of the gift card you’re selling, but that’s normal; it’s how gift card exchanges make money.

Will gift card exchanges take my really obscure gift card?

Most gift card exchanges only accept cards from national chains or retailers. A card to your local mom and pop shop most likely won’t sell unless you live in a major city.

Is my gift card expired?

You can find out by visiting the retailer’s website and looking up the balance on your gift card. If you’re still having trouble figuring out your balance you can call customer service or visit the store in person.

What happens if a gift card exchange gives me a card with an inaccurate balance?

Contact customer service for that exchange, and tell them immediately. They’ll be able to right the wrong and get you back any money you lost.

Reusing gift cards

If you know your way around gift card exchanges and have used them many times before, you may have reached the point where you have a bunch of cards with $0 balances. Don’t despair! We here at Top Ten Reviews won’t leave you hanging.

There are a lot of things you can do with a gift card once you've used it. The Balance Everyday, part of Dotdash publishing, recommends putting more money on the card and giving it away as a gift. Cards with beautiful patterns or designs can even be cut into shapes and used as design or scrapbooking embellishments. You can also easily turn an old gift card into a stencil with a pair of scissors. In addition, cutting a jagged or curved edge makes an empty gift card a great pottery tool.

This Old House, a home builders website, has a lot of home improvement uses for old gift cards. For example, they're extremely handy to have in your pocket to use as a straight edge. You can also use a gift card to glue down loose tiles rather than getting a trowel dirty. In addition, the website says gift cards can be used to smooth out air bubbles in wallpaper or to caulk your tub, and you can use one as a miniature paint shield in tight spots.

Pinterest users have also compiled a long list of alternative uses for gift cards, including using them as covers for mini journals, cutting them into shapes to make magnets or recycling them as guitar picks. If you have a sharp enough blade, you can even cut a gift card into a multipurpose tool to keep in your wallet.

Gift card exchange and Reddit

If you're looking to swap gift cards in an unofficial way, one option is Reddit's gift card exchange program. Note, however, that this swap program is merely a community of Reddit users following a set of guidelines. The program is not officially run by a company. As such, there is no one to back up your purchases, and it's possible to get scammed. That said, there are 32,000 traders in the community who swap cards. Because the program is not monitored or controlled by a private company, there’s no one to charge fees to reduce the value of your card; you could get 100 percent of the value of your card if you find the right person to swap with. The GCX Safe Trading Guide outlines the precautions you should take before swapping cards, including verifying a user's account age and karma and making people send you links to their GCX Rep Profiles. Google Chrome users can also add the Reddit Scam Labeler extension to their browser for an added layer of security. Even if you take every precaution, however, it’s possible to get scammed, so we recommend using one of the gift card exchange websites we tested.

Millie Fender
Head of Reviews

Millie Fender is Head of Reviews at Top Ten Reviews. She also works on our sister sites: Real Homes, Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, and Livingetc. As Head of Reviews, Millie is on a mission to make sure that we are reviewing all of the latest and greatest products for you and your home, whether it's a vacuum cleaner or an inflatable hot tub.