ThreeJars Daily: Get The Most Out Of Your Gift Cards

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Get The Most Out Of Your Gift Cards

Photo: TKTK




Last year $6 billion in gift cards went unredeemed. Don’t waste your money this year: Several web sites allow you to sell and trade gift cards—and even donate unused dollars to charity. So if you received Gap and Starbuck’s gift cards, but what you really want are wine glasses from Crate & Barrel, here’s how to get them without paying a dime.

By Nicole DeCoursy
Sell your unwanted or unused gift card for cash (get a quote, mail in your gift card, and get a check for up to 90 percent of the value). You can also exchange it for an gift card.
Get your cash on the spot by bringing your card to one of 600 agent locations in the U.S. (check the web site to find one near you). You can also sell cards on Swapagift’s sister site
Give a gift to a nonprofit organization this season by donating a card with a minimum balance of $25 through this site. Some charities to choose from: American Red Cross, American Lung Association, Autism Speaks, Second Chance Animal Shelter, and many more. You can also sell and exchange cards.
At Cardpool, you can get up to 92 percent cash for gift cards you don’t want. Compare what you could get here with quotes from and to find the best deal!


A Better Gift Card

New legislation passed last year means you can keep more of your gift card dollars this year. Gift cards now remain valid for at least five years from when the card was purchased or when money was last loaded onto it, and you can’t be charged fees for cards used within the last 12 months. Previously, some gift cards, like from Visa and Discover, charged inactivity fees after 12 months. Happy shopping!


Nicole DeCoursy is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Westchester, NY with her husband, two boys, and three cats. Her work has been published in Redbook, Parenting, and Weight Watchers Magazine.


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