How to get the most out of holiday gift cards

Published: Updated:

During the holiday season, the easiest gift of all is a gift card. Still, nearly half of Americans have a shared $21 billion in unused gift cards in their wallets, desk, or junk drawers, according to a report from WINK News shows how you can ensure that money doesn’t go to waste.

From fast food to fine dining, clothing stores, and gas stations—in just about any place you can buy something, you can buy a gift card for it, too.

“I like gift cards, and I like the ones that you can just swipe anywhere. That or anything with coffee is always fun.” found that people have, on average, around $175 in unspent gift cards, vouchers, and store credit lying around.

“I have a stack of about 10 in my purse right now.”

“If I get a gift card, it will just disappear, or it will just stay in my wallet for years.”

The easiest way to put it to good use is, of course, to actually use it, either to treat yourself or to treat someone else. If not, you can re-gift it. Just call the number on the back to check the balance before giving it to someone else. You can also put more money on the card if you use some of it.

“I got a Starbucks gift card, um, like, a few years ago, that I finally used a couple months ago.”

You can sell your cards, too. advertises that it will get you the highest price for them. Just enter the store to see which site will offer you the most money.

Exchanging is also an option. Websites like CardCash, CardHub, Raise, and Junkcard allow you to trade the cards you don’t like for ones you do. Whatever you decide to do with your unwanted cards, the worst strategy is keeping them unused in your wallet.

Another way to make sure that the card is put to good use: donate it to charity. The gift card will be tax-deductible for the face amount of the card.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.