Easy Ways To Exchange That Unwanted Christmas Gift Card

It’s not Christmas time if one of your gifts is something you will never use. While many people think giving a gift card is a way to ensure their generic gift is not exchanged or regifted next year, it is sometimes just as unwanted as the bar of soap or gag gift you overlooked in favor of the card.

But how can you not love a gift card?

Well, for starters, imagine if you got a gift card for a book store and you don’t like books? Or that same gift card is for a store that is nowhere near where you live? Maybe you got a Pizza Hut gift card when you just started your paleo diet? Suddenly that gift card is something to be popped in a drawer and forgotten about until you clean that drawer out sometime after the use-by date has expired.

So what can you do with your unwanted gift card now that Christmas has passed and the Boxing day sales are enticing you into the stores you do like to shop in? Why not try a gift card exchange?

But what exactly is a gift card exchange?

When you receive an unwanted gift card as a gift, there are ways in which you can exchange your gift for something more suitable. This usually falls into two categories: cash or gift card exchange for a store you do frequent. While it is unlikely you will get the full amount on your original unwanted gift card gift, there are two fairly simple ways to get the most out of your gift card exchange.

Cardpool offers a gift card exchange program [Image Credit: Cardpool]Firstly, you can exchange your unwanted gift card for cash via a resell service such as Cardpool. This service is a way to exchange your unwanted gift card for cold hard cash. However, do not expect to receive the full amount for your gift card. As a resell service, they will need to make a profit on your gift card — no matter how much the store that issued your card seems unappealing to you. Cardpool is currently offering up to 92 percent of the retail worth of your gift card. This percentage varies however, dependent on the popularity of the gift card store.

As well as offering a gift card exchange for cash, you can also use that cash to purchase a gift card more suited to your shopping needs. Cards can be brought at up to 35 percent off their retail value. This means if you sell your unwanted gift card at a premium rate and then purchase a new gift card at a bargain price, you could, effectively, make money on the exchange. As posted on the Cardpool website, all orders include free USPS shipping and are guaranteed, so there are no hidden costs involved.

Raise is another service similar to Cardpool. Shoppers with an iPhone can set their sale price for their gift card and, once sold, Raise will take a 15 percent commission.

The second option is handy for those people who have hit the stores and are eager to shop before they have had a chance to exchange their cards. At the moment, some stores are offering a similar service to Cardpool and will exchange unwanted gift cards for gift cards in their own stores. Once again, these stores will not offer the full retail price on the issued gift card but will exchange for a lower rate.

Target offers a gift card exchange service [Image Credit: Target]Many Target stores are offering a gift card exchange program in store, potentially capturing a market that is ready to shop yet doesn’t have the gift card they need to purchase items from their store. According to Star-Tribune, 1,500 Target stores will be participating in the gift card exchange this year. Be aware though, Target will only accept gift cards from certain stores. You can check out if your gift card qualifies by clicking here.

For gamers who received gift cards from stores that don’t sell games, GameStop is also offering a gift card exchange program. You can easily fill out your gift card details and have them converted into a GameStop card by visiting their website here. As with all of the other gift card exchange programs, you will not receive full value for your unwanted card.

The only problem with an unwanted gift card exchange is that awkward moment when the gifter asks the giftee what they brought with their gift card. As of yet, there is still no easy fix to avoid this situation.

Have you ever received an unwanted gift card at Christmas time? What have you done with it? Let us know by commenting below!

[Image Credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan]