Money Mondays: Quick Cash for Unused Gift Cards

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Welcome to another Money Mondays, our weekly feature where we discuss savings strategies and ways to make extra cash so you can buy emergency supplies or become more financially prepared.

Today we are looking at a quick way to get cash for unused gift cards.

I am sure everyone has received a gift card or two and never got around to using them.  You might consider re-gifting them throughout the year.

There are sites such as Giftcardgranny or Cardpool where you can sell them online.  But if you want cash on the spot, the Coinstar Exchange may be an option for you.

I had previously used Coinstar for trading in loose change, but a new Coinstar Exchange was installed at one of our local grocery stores.  I tried it out just to see how it works, using a gift card I knew I would never get around to using.


How does it work?

  1.  Scan gift card via the bar code or reader.  The first time I tried it, I had an old restaurant gift card from two years ago and neither the typed bar code number nor the reader worked.  I called the 1-800 number on the card at it still had value in it, just that the reader would not work.  I had another, newer gift card that I received last Christmas and the new one worked.
  2. Next, you identify the brand of gift card on the screen.
  3. CoinStar Exchange offers you an amount and you decide if you want to accept their offer.  In my case, my gift card had a value of $25, and Coinstar Exchange offered $15.25.
  4. You are then instructed to insert your driver’s license, and the screen asks for a phone number and email address.
  5. You insert the gift card into the machine and get a receipt.
  6. Present the receipt at the store’s customer service desk.
  7. They again ask for a driver’s license for security reasons.
  8. You get paid what you were offered.

All in all, I felt I could have received more for the gift card by selling it online, however, I appreciated being able to receive cash right on the spot.  I also wanted to try it to see how it worked so I can post this article  🙂  If you try this, you would have to decide if the offer is worth your while.

To find a Coinstar Exchange in your area, try the kiosk finder in their website.

© Apartment Prepper 2016

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