Wal-Mart Begins Accepting Single-Retail Gift Cards — At A Price

Leave it to Wal-Mart to figure out a way.

According to TechCrunch, Wal-Mart has begun accepting gift cards from other retailers, as well as restaurants both in-store and online. In conjunction with the third-party website CardCash, Wal-Mart now allows you to use those unwanted gift cards from other companies.

The gift card business is a hefty one, raking in over $32 billion per year. However, over $1 billion in gift cards go unused. So, someone has that money, but no one is using it. Until now.

This is how it works. you take an unwanted gift card to Wal-Mart, or go online to www.walmart.cardcash.com. They will have a section where you can trade in unused gift cards. Now, one thing the consumer must remember is that you will NOT get 100 percent of the value of the gift card. The percentage will vary, based on the popularity of the store issuing the gift card, how many of a certain store’s gift cards have already been traded, and the like.

Wal-Mart is stating that some cards could be traded for up to 97 percent of their value, but most will be in the 80 to 90 percent range. Customers will also have to have a credit card to verify a billing address, but the credit card will never be charged, according to KGUN9 News.

Once you begin the process, you will disclose what amount is on the gift card, and you will be given an amount to either accept or reject. If accepted, once the process is done, so are you. There is no need to mail the gift card in, and you have instant access to the newly-acquired funds. Wal-Mart then sells those gift cards on the CardCash website.

According to the CBC, Wal-Mart will also take airlines gift cards, plus cards from over 200 different companies.

“We recognized that this was an opportunity,” Wal-mart spokesman Ravi Jariwala said. “A large number don’t get redeemed. We figured this was a good way to get gift cards in the hands of more customers.”

The pilot program was rolled out Christmas Day, and will continue for a few months more. It is currently being tested in the United States only. Depending on the success, it could be rolled out worldwide.

There are other methods of getting cash for your unwanted gift cards. Raise.com allows you to set the price on your gift card. Coinstar will buy gift cards, so long as they have at least $20 on them. Giftcardgranny.com will tell you who will give you the most for your gift card. Lastly, you can go to giftcardgiver.com or contact your local charities to see if they take gift cards as donations. So, one way or another, you should be able to get some pleasure out of your unwanted gift card

[Image courtesy of Wal-Mart]