8 uses for unwanted gift cards
You can donate, re-gift or sell them online.
Not all gift cards are welcomed by their recipients. Maybe you got a Nordstrom card although you're a thrift-store kind of gal. Maybe Uncle Fred gave you a Wal-Mart card, not knowing you're one of those folks who has problems with that merchandising giant's policies. Or maybe you, like MSN Money columnist Liz Pulliam Weston, simply don't like gift cards.
Remember that the giver meant well, and go ahead and write your thank-you note. After that, you're free to dispose of that gift card in any of the following ways.
(How to write a thank-you note for something you're planning to ditch? Try this: "Many thanks for your generous gift. It was so kind of you to think of me. The gift card will come in very handy."
And it will come in handy, though not necessarily in the way the giver might have envisioned.)
Shop post-holiday clearance sales. Combine this "free" money with deeply discounted prices to buy some gifts for next year, or maybe a few things you want/need yourself. Don't overspend, though. A $500 handbag minus that $50 gift card is still $450 on your Visa.
Buy more gift cards. Some people like getting them. I used part of a gift card someone had given me to buy a gift card for my sister and her husband for Christmas. They love this specialty market and shop there regularly.
Get your newborn some toddler togs. Buy a wedding album for friends who
just got engaged. Purchase a year's worth of greeting cards.
Make a charitable donation. Who doesn't like tax write-offs? Find an agency or charity that can use the card(s), and be sure to get a receipt.
Turn them into a door prize. Special event upcoming at your kid's school, your church, your fraternal organization? A $25 or $50 gift card makes a swell prize.
Give them as gifts. Think of gift cards as birthday or Christmas presents you don't have to buy. Be sure there's no expiration date or sneaky fee.
Sell it online. Sites like Plastic Jungle and Swapagift.com will buy your gift cards outright, or let you sell or trade with others.
Sell or trade locally. If you have a card you can't use, put the word out among your friends and relatives -- except, of course, for the friends/relatives who gave you the cards in the first place.
- Gift cards: A bad idea gets even worse
- Retailers bank on unused gift cards
- 20 great gifts that aren't gift cards
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Nearly half of family caregivers spend more than $5,000 a year, plus caregiving affects their jobs and retirement plans.
- America's most counterfeited products
- Driver survey: Men irked by phone talkers, women by lane cutters
- 5 reasons to take the company buyout (and 5 not to)
- Tired of Fed-watching, saver? Check out these banks instead
- New software targets credit card thieves at gas pumps
- Thinking of holiday shopping? Do a reality check first
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'