Americans have over $21 billion in unused gift cards and leftover store credit

Photo by AP.

We ask for them every holiday, but are your gift cards collecting dust? Right now, $21 billion in unredeemed gift cards are just sitting in our wallets.

A Bankrate survey found that the average adult has $167 in unused gift cards and store credit.

The worst offenders are families who make $80,000 or more a year, with just under $300 of unused cards.

Parents with kids under 18 have similar piles stacking up, with an average of $274 on their gift cards.

Meanwhile, people between 40 and 55, and in low-income households are most likely to use what they are gifted.

More than a third of people surveyed do not plan to ever use their gift cards or store credit.

“Gift cards and store credits are real money, so treat them as such,” said Ted Rossman, a Bankrate analyst. “If you’ve been holding onto a gift card from a store you don’t like, there’s nothing wrong with re-gifting it, using it to buy a gift for someone else, or even selling it.”

“You can sell unwanted gift cards at sites such as,, and,” Rossman added. “You can also buy discounted gift cards from these sites. That’s a great way to save on an upcoming purchase. Look for consumer protections – for example, Cardpool offers a one-year guarantee on gift cards it resells.”

For more information about the survey visit the Bankrate website here.

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