Credit Cards, Smart Spending

Getting Cash For Gift Cards You Can’t Use

Gift cards have become a popular item under the Christmas tree when you don’t know what to get someone and other special occasions.  In 2011, gift card sales exceeded $100 billion. It’s estimated that sales for this category of pre-paid debit cards grew at least 10 percent in 2012, topping $110 billion, according to the CEB TowerGroup. CEB TowerGroup predicts that gift card sales will surpass $130 billion in 2014.

If you are like most people and you receive gift cards that you cannot use–simply trade them in for cash. The rules for most gift cards make them non-refundable, but the owner can legally transfer the card to another person or entity. Furthermore, the cards do not carry fees or have expiration dates.

For a vegan awarded a $100 gift card to a local steakhouse or a person given a card for a business they do not patronize, the following companies pay out cash and other compensation for gift cards:

Plastic Jungle

This site claims to have the largest secured gift card exchange program on the Internet. Consumers can buy, sell and exchange gift cards. Sellers can receive as much as 92 percent of the card’s value. Plastic Jungle also offers a wide selection of discounted gift cards for sale. Buyers obtain savings up to 35%.

The system allows gift card sellers to exchange their cards for cash, a PayPal or Amazon. The value paid for the card depends on multiple factors that can affect market rates, including brand and seasonality. Sellers can conduct business over the web or by regular mail. The electronic exchange offers a secure transaction that pays the seller payment within 24 hours.

Gift Card Granny

Gift Card Granny provides an online marketplace for individuals to buy and sell gift cards. The site offers 30,000 and a variety of hundreds of online and brick-and-mortar merchants. Users can track specific cards and find out when they go on sale. Gift Card Granny functions as a secondary market aggregator that brings together sellers and gift card brokers.

The selling process goes like this: the card seller visits the site; clicks on the icon of any one of the five brokers and goes to their website. Enter the card information and remaining card value; and click the “see offers” button.

Evaluate the broker’s offer for the gift card. If you like the offer, terms and conditions, follow the remaining steps to complete the transaction. It takes 3 to 7 business days to receive the cash.


This company lists on its web site the cards it will purchase and the price. The card seller must fill out the contact form with the required.  The firm validates the card, and identifies and confirms sellers through PayPal or by other information. Sellers can contact the sales team to inquire about gift cards not directly listed on the website

If CardCash accepts the card seller’s offer, it sends an email within 24 hours informing you of the acceptance.  The system email instructions on where to mail the credit card. When CardCash receives the card, it sends payment to the seller’s PayPal account within 2 to 3 business days.