Last Updated on June 8, 2022 by Rebecca Lake
Got unwanted gift cards that you just don’t know what to do with?
One of the best ways to get rid of unused gift cards is to take them to your local gift card exchange kiosk and swap them for cash. A gift card kiosk allows you to turn physical gift cards into real money that you can spend or save.
Americans have $15 billion in unused gift cards sitting around, according to a Bankrate survey. That’s money that’s just left sitting on the table that you could be putting to good use.
The good news is that you probably have at least one gift card exchange kiosk near you. Knowing how to find a gift card exchange machine–and how to use it–can help you to make the most of your gift card returns.
Related post: 25 Easy Ways to Get Free Gift Cards
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What Is a Gift Card Exchange Kiosk?
A gift card exchange kiosk is a physical machine that allows you to turn unwanted gift cards into instant cash.
In terms of their physical appearance, gift card kiosks can look like stand-alone ATMs, DVD rental machines, photo booths or even a slot machine. These self-service machines can be located in a plethora of grocery stores, drugstores and retail stores like Target or Walmart.
There are also online gift card exchange kiosks that you can use to turn gift cards into cash. This can be a great option if you have some egift cards you’re not using and you’d rather have cash instead.
With regard to how much cash you can get for unused gift cards, the amount will depend on the value of the card and where you’re exchanging gift cards. Typically, gift card exchange kiosks can offer anywhere from 60% of the gift card balance at the lower end and up to 90% of the card’s value at the higher end.
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How Does a Gift Card Exchange Kiosk Work?
Gift card exchange kiosks work by allowing you to enter your gift card information, then exchange those gift cards for cash. It’s easy to do in just a few simple steps.
The first thing you’ll need to do is find a gift card exchange kiosk near you.
You can enter your zip code in Google Maps to find physical kiosks near you where you can exchange gift cards for cash.
Once you find a gift card exchange machine near you, the next step is rounding up the unwanted gift cards you’d like to exchange. That can include Mastercard or Visa gift cards and retailer gift cards.
Here’s how to exchange your gift cards for instant cash:
- First, check your gift card’s remaining balance. You’ll need to enter the amount at the gift card exchange kiosk and knowing the card’s value beforehand can give you an idea of how much cash you’re likely to get.
- Next, enter the gift card number and/or PIN. This may be on the front or back of the gift card.
- Review the gift card exchange kiosk’s cash offer. Again, this is usually a percentage of the value of the gift card, rather than its full face value.
If you decide to accept the offer, you’ll receive one or more cash vouchers. These print out directly from the gift card exchange kiosk.
You’ll take these cash vouchers to the customer service desk or a cash register in order to collect your money. You may be asked to present your driver’s license in order to exchange your cash vouchers for actual money.
Note: Cash vouchers typically expire within a couple of days. So if you’re planning to swap gift cards for cash, time is of the essence.
Where to Find a Gift Card Exchange Kiosk Near You
When searching for a gift card kiosk, you have two options: physical kiosks or online gift card exchanges.
If don’t mind a short drive or bike ride, it’s possible to find gift card exchange machines at local stores. Here are some of the most popular options for finding the nearest kiosk locally.
GiftCardBin allows you to exchange unwanted gift cards for cash locally through its network of partner locations. There are more than 600 partner locations across the United States, so this could be one of the best places to exchange gift cards for cash.
And here’s what makes GiftCardBin unique: you can exchange gift cards through text messages if you can’t make it to a partner gift card drop-off location.
To exchange gift cards via text messaging, you’ll just snap a pic of the gift card with your mobile phone and send it to GiftCardBin.
You’ll need a valid state or government-issued photo ID and either a PayPal account, bank account, Venmo account or Cash App account to get paid.
Walmart is a popular gift card retailer since they sell a variety of gift cards for restaurants, stores, gas stations and gaming platforms.
For example, you might be able to buy a Home Depot card here or pick up a Best Buy gift card. And of course, you can always buy a Walmart gift card there as well.
With more than 5,000 stores in the U.S., your closest store location may be right around the corner. You can visit the store’s gift card exchange kiosk, exchange your gift cards and head to the cash register to redeem your cash vouchers.
Target stores are another great option for buying gift cards or exchanging them. The next time you’re making your weekly Target run, look for the gift card exchange kiosk (they’re usually near the front of the store) and turn your gift cards into cash.
Walgreens locations may have gift card exchange kiosks where you can turn different gift card options into cash. You may also be able to return a Walgreens gift card for cash if you have the original receipt.
If CVS is your preferred pharmacy, you may be able to visit your nearest store location to exchange gift cards. It may be a good idea to compare the discounted price you’ll get at CVS gift card exchange kiosks to Walgreens or other retailers to make sure you’re making the most of your card’s value.
Grocery stores and supermarkets
Plenty of grocery stores offer gift card exchange kiosks so that’s an easy way to get rid of unused gift cards while making your weekly shopping trip. Some of the grocery stores where you might be able to exchange gift cards include:
- Stop & Shop
If you’re not sure whether your local grocery store offers a gift card exchange kiosk, the easiest way to find out is to give them a call if you have the phone number. You can ask someone at the customer service desk whether they have a gift card kiosk and which gift card brand or brands you may be able to exchange.
Online Sites for Gift Card Exchange
Don’t feel like driving or don’t have physical kiosks near you where you can exchange gift cards?
There are plenty of online services that you can use to exchange gift cards for instant cash if you have an email address and a laptop or mobile device.
Using an online marketplace is convenient since you don’t have to leave the house to exchange gift cards. And it can be a great way to maximize your card’s value if there’s no high cost or service fee involved.
Here are some of the best options if you’re looking for an online platform that offers gift card exchange.
EJ Gift Cards
EJ Gift Cards makes it easy to exchange gift cards for cash online.
You simply select the gift card brand, review EJ Gift Cards’ offer based on the card’s value, then accept or decline it. If you accept the offer, you can enter the card number and PIN along with your payment information.
EJ Gift Cards sends payment to your PayPal account within one to three business days. So it isn’t exactly instant cash. But it could be the best way to exchange unwanted gift cards with minimal hassle.
Raise is an online marketplace where you can buy and sell gift cards at a discounted rate.
You can list your unwanted gift cards on Raise and earn up to 85% cashback when they sell. Raise pays you via direct deposit, paper check or transfer to a PayPal account, which makes it simple to collect your cash.
GiftCash could be a good option for exchanging gift cards if you want to make the most use of the card. This online marketplace offers cashback worth up to 92% of the card’s value.
This site is also unique in that you can get paid via bank account transfer or in cryptocurrency. That’s a plus if you’re interested in crypto investing for passive income.
Gameflip doesn’t purchase gift cards directly. Instead, you can use this service provider to connect with interested gift card buyers.
You can list your unused gift cards for sale on Gameflip. When someone buys them, you’ll transfer the gift cards to them and get paid.
CardCash makes it easy to sell your gift cards for cash. You list your gift card, including the gift card brand and value. If you’re happy with Card Cash’s offer, you can accept it and get paid by check, ACH transfer or PayPal deposit.
ClipKard makes it as easy as possible to sell gift cards for cash online. You can add your card, review your cash offer, ship in your physical cards and get paid. You can also earn reward points for each gift card you sell which you can then use to buy gift cards at a discounted rate.
The CardSell app allows you to easily sell gift cards online. You enter your gift card information and verify your account. Once you accept CardSell’s offer you can get paid cash through PayPal within two business days.
Gift Card Outlets
Gift Card Outlets (formerly Gift Card Spread or GC Spread) is an online marketplace where you can sell unwanted gift cards at your own price. This means you have more control when it comes to selling gift cards for cash.
The only hitch is that payments are only made by check and it can take up to 10 days to receive payment. So if you need instant cash for your gift cards, you may want to explore one of the other online gift card exchange kiosk options mentioned here.
Note: GiftCardGranny and CardPool used to be two of the best options for exchanging gift cards online. At this time, neither Gift Card Granny nor CardPool buys gift cards online.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Unwanted Gift Cards
Looking for more places to sell your gift cards outside of a gift card exchange kiosk?
Here are a few more options for unloading gift cards you don’t plan to use.
Facebook is a great place to buy and sell things locally, including gift cards.
You can’t sell them on Facebook Marketplace–only third-party companies are allowed to sell gift cards there. But you can post gift cards for sale on your personal page or in local Facebook bargain or swap groups.
If you’re selling physical gift cards, choose a safe place like a nearby police station to meet to exchange your gift cards for cash. And think twice if someone asks you to send a photo of the gift card number or PIN before money changes hands, as that could be a scam.
There are lots of things you can sell for cash on eBay, including gift cards. You can create a listing and sell your gift cards for cash, then ship them out to your buyer.
One thing to know about selling gift cards for cash on eBay is that it can be a breeding ground for scams. A common scam involves gift card buyers who purchase gift cards through eBay, use them to make purchases then file false fraud reports with eBay claiming the card didn’t work.
If you’re considering selling gift cards for cash on eBay, be sure to weigh the risks. You could make more money selling unwanted gift cards this way but it could end up costing you money if you have to give out refunds to scammers.
Exchange gift cards with a friend
Gift cards make a great gift–when they’re something you actually plan to use.
If you’ve got gift cards for stores or restaurants that you don’t normally go to, you could try to arrange a gift card swap with a friend.
For example, maybe someone gifted your friend a Home Depot card when they really wanted an Amazon gift card. You don’t shop on Amazon, so you could swap the Amazon gift card you have for their gift card to Home Depot.
Swapping git cards means you don’t have to pay any fees. And you may not lose anything if the card’s value you’re exchanging is the same as the one you’re getting.
Gift unwanted gift cards to someone else
If you don’t have anyone willing to trade gift cards, you could regift them to someone else.
This might be more appropriate when you haven’t accessed any of the card’s value.
Giving someone a Starbucks gift card with $8.53 on it, for example, probably won’t seem like much of a gift. But a $25 Starbucks gift card might be much more welcome.
Just make sure the gift card hasn’t expired before you give it to someone else, which could be embarrassing for both of you.
Use gift cards to pay bills
If you have a Visa gift card or a Mastercard gift card, you could use it to pay bills.
Gift cards with a Visa, Mastercard or American Express logo can be used in the same places you’d use a credit card or debit card from any of those brands. So you could use unwanted gift cards to buy groceries, get gas or pay a bill or two if you can’t think of any other way to spend it.
Use unwanted gift cards to purchase items to flip
Flipping is the act of buying things at one price, then selling them for a profit.
If you have some gift cards you don’t plan to spend on yourself, you could use them to purchase items to flip.
For example, if you have a Sephora gift card you could use it to purchase beauty products and then flip them on Facebook Marketplace or eBay. Or you could purchase items with a gift card, then sell them to a pawn shop for fast cash.
This way, you can still get some value out of the gift card by getting cash indirectly.
Donate gift cards to charity
Donating gift cards to a good cause is a chance to give back while unburdening your wallet of gift cards you never planned to use.
When donating gift cards to charity, consider whether the charity will be able to use them. Amazon gift cards, for example, can be used to buy a wide range of things. But if you have gift cards to a grocery store or a pet store, you might need to find a charity that specializes in meeting those kinds of needs to donate them to.
Can You Exchange Gift Cards for Cash With Coinstar?
Coinstar Exchange kiosks allow you to turn coins into cash. The value of the coins determines how much cash you’ll get, less Coinstar’s service fee.
Ninety percent of people in the United States live within five miles of a Coinstar kiosk so this might be the first place to look if you’re ready to exchange gift cards. They’re also available globally, including in Puerto Rico and Guam.
Unfortunately, Coinstar gift card exchange kiosks are no longer a thing. While you used to be able to exchange gift cards for cash at Coinstar at a discounted rate, the company removed that option.
So if you found this site by searching for “Coinstar gift card exchange rate”, “does Coinstar buy gift cards” or “does Coinstar give gift cards”, just know that you can’t use Coinstar for that anymore.
You can, however, use your loose change at Coinstar to buy gift cards.
Coinstar charges no service fee when you use your coins to buy egift cards. For example, you could turn coins into a Home Depot gift card or Amazon gift card. So that might be a good option if you have tons of spare change lying around and you’d like to turn it into a good gift for someone else or store credit to your favorite retail brands.
Pro tip: You can also use your coins to donate to a good cause through your local Coinstar coin exchange kiosk.
Related post: Coinstar Near Me (Avoid the Fee!)
Final thoughts on exchanging gift cards for cash
Paying a quick visit to a gift card exchange kiosk can be an easy way to trade gift cards for cash. When comparing the options for exchanging gift cards online or off, be sure to consider:
- What gift card brands you can exchange
- How much cash you can expect to get for your gift cards
- What kind of service fee or handling fee you might pay
- How quickly you’ll be able to get cash
- Payment methods available (i.e. PayPal account, Venmo, Cash App, bank account transfer, check, etc.)
With a little research, you can make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck when cashing in gift cards.
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