Cardpool: What you need to know
What makes Cardpool different from other Gift Card Exchange sites is the variety of ways you can sell them your gift card. With a simple-to-use website, a nifty app and both kiosk and cashier-assisted physical locations, you can sell cards from over 150 brands in whichever way suits you best. Cardpool also has a ‘refer a friend’ promotion, so if you like what you see you can get $7 each time a friend you refer makes their first purchase at Cardpool, and they get a $7 discount. Good stuff.
The website is easy to navigate and well-designed, whether you’re trying to buy or sell gift cards. Before you begin, we recommend clicking the “see how it works” button to watch a short informative video. Until recently, Cardpool was accredited by the Better Business Bureau and had A+ rating from the group. However, it has recently come into disrepute, with a F ranking and loss of accreditation as of September 2019. That's the lowest rating the BBB gives, so don't take it lightly.
Cardpool: Selling your gift card
- Option to be paid by check or Amazon gift card
- Good rates, but not the best
Like all gift card exchanges, you get a payout that is less than the full value of the cards you sell. Cardpool promises up to 92%. This will vary depending on the supply and demand of that particular card.
Selling your card is easy if you follow the links on the website. Once you’ve entered the gift card information, Cardpool claims you’ll see your payout instantly. This works for both physical and electronic gift cards, but if you’re selling a physical one online you won’t need to send it in; Cardpool only needs the electronic information. If you sell in store you can walk out with cash or a new gift card that same day.
As with all of our card exchange reviews, we asked for a quote on a $20 Walmart gift card. Cardpool offered us a $16 check; one of the better offers we had. Cardpool also has the option to be paid in Amazon gift cards. We’d recommend this because you’re likely to get about 6 percent more for the value of the gift card you’re selling compared to a check. We liked this option as there’s not much you can’t find on Amazon these days, and could have sold our $20 Walmart card for just shy of $17. That said, this varies by day and by type of card you’re selling, so you would probably see different numbers if you used the website today.
If you select the paper check option, it will take 5-10 business days to receive it in the mail (and some have complained that theirs never arrived). The Amazon gift card, on the other hand, will be emailed to you more quickly. The list of gift cards Cardpool will buy is vast and includes a ton of common retailers including Macy's, Starbucks, Ulta, Torrid, Safeway and Walgreens.
Cardpool: Buying gift cards
- Handy app which makes transactions smoother
- A variety of savings depending on retailer
Cardpool sells gift cards for less than face value, meaning that when you buy from them you’ll be paying a fraction of the value of the gift card. One of Cardpool’s main advantages is their one year guarantee. Unlike competitors such as Cardcash, who only guarantee for 45 days, if you buy a gift card from Cardpool it promises that card is valid for a year from the date of purchase, giving you plenty of time to spend it how you choose.
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, but if you’re an iPhone user you won’t have any trouble.
Popular stores see lower discounts. For example, a Macy’s gift card you would only save you 5%. 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. Pretty hefty, although competitors offered marginally better.
A cursory glance at the selection available shows discounts of up to 25 percent on gift cards available for purchase, although we didn’t see any with the promised ‘up to 35%’ on this occasion. The discount is listed clearly once you pick the retailer you’re looking for. This transparency makes shopping quick and easy and enables you to shop around for the best price. You can buy electronic or physical cards at Cardpool and if you opt for the physical card, it claims it will take 3-7 days to receive it in the mail.
Cardpool: Customer reviews
- A recent fall from grace
- Complaints regarding poor customer service and failure to send payment
Cardpool has an F ranking with the BBB (opens in new tab) due to the large volume of complaints made against the company.
The BBB has also recently issued an alert regarding a pattern of complaints against Cardpool. The three issues listed were failure to issue payment in a timely manner, poor customer service and customers receiving gift cards with zero balance upon purchase. The alert was only made in late September 2019 and Cardpool has said it working to address these complaints, but it’s worth taking into account when deciding which gift card exchange service to go for!
We like Cardpool’s easy-to-use app (although it’s a shame it’s only on the App Store) and their clear and transparent website was a pleasure to use. It was out of stock for a lot of big retailers such as Walmart and Target, but still had a good variety and impressive discounts.
The major downfall is recent complaints made against Cardpool for delayed payments and poor customer service, not to mention their plummeting BBB ranking. It’s really worth weighing this up before deciding to go with Cardpool as a gift card exchange service.