Want to make the most money when you sell your gift cards? We put four online services that buy gift cards to the test — and there is a clear winner and a clear loser.
Want to sell your gift cards? Try these services
Gift cards are extremely popular to get and give as gifts. But often, you don’t really like the restaurant or retailer somebody else gave you a gift card for. So do you just leave it sitting unloved in a drawer somewhere? No! Try selling it online and turning it into cash.
Websites like ABCGiftCards.com, CardCash.com, CardPool.com and MonsterGiftCard.com all offer you the opportunity to unload unwanted gift cards. Sellers can typically expect to make about 70-80 cents back on the dollar.
Buyers, meanwhile, can find gift cards discounted up to 30% off the face value. The websites themselves make money on the buy/sell spread. The cards are typically guaranteed to work for up 180 days after purchase (depending on website).
So don’t let that plastic gather go unused. Discount gift card sites can save or make you some big money.
We put four websites to the test
When you sell a gift card online, you typically have the option to get your money by check or have the value transferred (trade) to gift cards from other retailers. You may even be offered more value if you get your money on, say, an Amazon gift card.
But which site is best to use? I was looking to sell 10 cards from nine different retailers that my family received as gifts but never used.
I had two gift cards from Target and then an assortment from Dunkin Donuts, Domino’s Pizza, Bloomin’ Brands (Outback Steakhouse, Carraba’s and others), Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers, Olive Garden, Fandango, Brinker International (Chili’s, Maggiano’s and others) and Rite-Aid.
So I priced out quotes on four popular websites to make sure I was getting the most money for all 10 gift cards I wanted to sell.
Here’s what I found…
CardPool gives you the option to sell your card directly to them and get paid upfront, or to list it on their marketplace and wait for someone to buy it. If you opt for the latter, you have to wait for the buyer to receive your card before you get paid.
Here’s the offer I got from Cardpool:
* CardPool would would not accept a direct sale of the Freddy’s gift card. They suggested I list it for any price up to $13.90 on their marketplace. Based on similar gift cards in the marketplace, they recommended a $9 price point. But because I was looking for a direct sale, I skipped this option.
Here are a few other things you should know about CardPool
- Pays 6% more if you take your total on a new Amazon Gift Card vs. mailing you a check.
- Won't accept any card with a value that's less than $15.
The second site I tried was CardCash. One of the nicest features with CardCash is that their system keeps a running cash tally of your offer at the bottom of screen as you continue to add more cards to it.
Here’s my offer from CardCash:
Here are a few other things you should know about CardCash
- Only buys cards with a $10 minimum value.
- Offers the option to trade in your cards for other gift cards at a 14% premium. For example, I could take my $126 quote and trade it for $135 in Amazon gift cards or $137 in CVS gift cards or even $146 in Express gift cards, among others.
Much like CardCash, ABCGiftCards also has a handy calculator on the page that tallies up your offer if you’re selling multiple gift cards.
This was the offer I got from them:
Here are a few other things you should know about ABCGiftCards
- Only buys cards with a $10 minimum value.
- Offers the option to trade in your cards for others at a 14% premium. In my case, that meant I could get $135 in Amazon gift cards, $137 in CVS gift cards or even $146 in Express gift cards, among others.
This site offers a straight-up 50% of value for all cards. Therefore, it’s likely to give you the lowest quote when you sell your gift cards. Here was my offer:
And the winner is…
The clear winner here is ABCGiftCards, which beat the next nearest competitor with an offer that was $2 and change higher for my gift cards.
By contrast, MonsterGiftCard yielded a much lower offer than any of its competitors.
Other sites and industry consolidation trends
In the course of my research, I came across other websites for selling your gift cards, but there’s a reason why I didn’t include them in this article.
For example, Raise.com is one such popular site. But unlike the sites listed above, Raise makes you do a lot of legwork before they’ll even give you a quote. You have to enter your gift card serial number and PIN, along with your current balance. That’s a lot of typing when there are other sites out there that only ask for your gift card’s balance before making you an offer!
Similarly, CardFlip.com required you to create an account before you could get a quote online for your gift cards. However, in its defense, CardFlip was the only option I found that would buy gift cards with a minimum value that’s below $10.
Finally, I noted a lot of industry shakeups and consolidation since I last took a look at this space about a couple year ago.
For example, GiftCardBin.com says it no longer buys gift cards and GiftCardRescue.com went out of business in 2016. Ditto for PlasticJungle.com, which was aborbed by CardCash.
So, clearly this is an industry that’s constantly shifting. If you have gift cards you want to sell, my advice is to hop to it and get your quotes today!
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