Posted: 2/12/2018

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Gift cards are a convenient way to show your gratitude. While some frown upon gift cards, others welcome them as a thoughtful way to say thank you or to celebrate special events. Gift cards are very popular presents during the holiday season. With any gift, there is a possibility that the item may not exactly be what you anticipated or even want.

gift cards

Gift cards are a convenient way to show your gratitude. While some frown upon gift cards, others welcome them as a thoughtful way to say thank you or to celebrate special events. Gift cards are very popular presents during the holiday season. With any gift, there is a possibility that the item may not exactly be what you anticipated or even want. There may be a variety of reasons why someone may not want or use a gift card. The retailer may not be in your area, you may not find things you like, the items you do like may not be in the price range of the value of the card, and so forth. So that leaves the question, what can you do with an unwanted gift card? Well instead of tucking it away in a drawer never to be seen again, here are a few tips on how to put to use that unwanted gift card.

  1. Buy items you can resell. Use the cards value to purchase things that you can list for sale on sites such as eBay, Amazon.com, Facebook Marketplace, even Craigslist. Not only can you put that unwanted gift card to use, you can earn money for things you like.
  2. Return it to the store. Some retailers may purchase the gift card back from you at a lesser price than the face value of the card. They may offer store credit for a later purchase. Check first with the retailer to find out their return policy on gift card purchases.
  3. Give it to someone else. If you need to buy a gift in a pinch or if you don’t have the money to shop for a present, regifting the card can be a great solution.
  4. Donate it. Charities and organizations that provide assistance to those in need can benefit from your donation. You can also purchase items and donate them to the cause of your choice.
  5. Exchange it for a gift card you want. Gift card exchange sites are popular places to unload unwanted gift cards and score some of your favorite retailers. Check out places such as Cardpool.com to swap those less than desirable gift cards.
  6. Buy gifts for others. Use the card to pick up gifts for others.

What You Should Know About Gift Cards

Back in 2010, laws went into effect for gift cards to protect consumers. Some of these include rules prohibiting fees on gift cards for 12 months after purchase and adding regulations that gift cards cannot expire for at least five years from the date the card was purchased, or from the last date any additional money was loaded onto the card.

As with most things, consumers should always watch out for scams, such as phony calls from pretend “collectors” demanding payment by gift cards to schemers posing as gift card buyers that ask for the gift card code to allegedly check the balance, but instead drain the funds from the card and never pay for them.

For more tips on buying and using gift cards, check out Business Consumer Alliance’s Resource Guide, “Gift Cards”. And always check out a retailer or any business first with BCA before doing business with them.

About Business Consumer Alliance

Business Consumer Alliance (BCA) is a non-profit company that started in 1928. The broad purpose of BCA is to promote business self-regulation. BCA's mission is achieved by assisting consumers in resolving complaints with businesses and using that complaint information, along with other relevant information such as customer reviews, to forecast business reliability. With community support, BCA can identify trustworthy and ethical businesses and warn the public to avoid unscrupulous businesses whose purpose is to defraud the marketplace. BCA also helps businesses promote themselves by providing services and tools to protect their business and reach out to their customers. BCA obtains its funding from member businesses who support the mission and purpose of the organization and who agree to abide by high standards of ethical business practices.

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