Three ways to use unwanted gift cards

Photo courtesy Flickr user 401(K) 20123

(MoneyWatch) With the holidays receding in the rear view mirror, you might find that you have a small stack of unused and unwanted gift cards lying around. For a variety of reasons, a lot of gift cards go completely unused each year -- to the tune of $2 billion in 2012, according to credit card resource site CardHub. Whether you have completely pristine cards, or a stack of cards with oddball balances, there are a number of ways you can use gift cards that might otherwise just collect dust and eventually get thrown away.

Sell them for cash. If you have a gift card to a store you simply have no interest in shopping at, sell the card for something you can use: Cash. CardHub, for example, operates an online gift card exchange where you can turn unused cards into cash. Gift cards are a popular gift year round for birthdays, graduations, anniversaries and other holidays and occasions.

Donate gift cards to charity. When people think about making tax-deductible donations, they often consider all sorts of personal property -- from computers to furniture to old clothing -- but gift cards are a valuable and sought-after donation instrument. Charities generally accept gift cards, and if your target charity doesn't, you can redeem the card and donate the goods you bought with it.

Re-gift unused cards. If you've never cut into a card, give it to someone else -- unlike physical goods, it's pretty much impossible to tell that a gift card has been re-gifted.

Photo courtesy Flickr user 401(K) 20123

Popular

Comments

CBSN Live

pop-out
Live Video

Market Data

Watch CBSN Live

Watch CBS News anytime, anywhere with the new 24/7 digital news network. Stream CBSN live or on demand for FREE on your TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone.

Watch Now

Market News

Stock Watchlist

New Android App

For your Android phone and tablet, download the FREE redesigned app, featuring CBSN, live 24/7 news.

Download