NEW YORK (WABC) — The solution to your inflation blues may be right under your nose and in a desk drawer or wallet: unused gift cards.
Almost half of us have at least one gift card. In total, CreditCard.com estimates there are $21 billion in unused gift cards.
But good news – Nina Pineda from 7 On Your Side has 7 tips for making the most of your gift card glut.
“The truth is that right now, with inflation soaring, a lot of people would do better with cash in their pocket than a gift card,” said consumer expert Andrea Woroch.
The national average is $175 per person collecting dust – but you can turn yours into dollars by trading or selling them.
“There are different resale sites like Raise.com, Cardcash.com, none of these sites will give you 100% of the value because they then sell it to other buyers, so they need to have some margin to realize a profit on that sale,” Woroch said.
Remember that it’s the nationally popular restaurants and stores that will make you the most money, but the sites are all competing for your money – shop around and see who will give you the best deal.
Bids must be between 70% and 92% of the card value.
So it’s important to know how much is on it, Giftcardgranny.com has an evaluation tool – just enter the details.
“It will tell you the exact amount left on that card, if you’ve used it before or if you just don’t know how much was offered to you in the first place,” Woroch said.
If you swap and buy another card, Woroch suggests stacking your savings.
For example, she redeemed for a discounted Gap gift card on Raise.com worth $50. She got it for $42.21.
Then she used a code from Couponfollow.com for another 15% off, for an additional savings of $6.33.
The final price, for a $50 gift card, was $35.88 and a total savings of over $14.12.
Next tip: Take a picture of the gift cards as soon as you receive them. Select it as your favorite photo so you can easily find it and use it easily online or at checkout.
“Be sure to scratch off that special little code, because you’ll need it for payment,” Woroch said.
And if you don’t use your cards, consider donating them to a local charity or gifting them again.
“Make sure you don’t give a gift card back to someone who gave it to you in the first place,” Woroch said.
To avoid this misstep, 7 On Your Side decided to write the donor’s initials on all unused cards.
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