Seven Best App for Buying and Selling Gift Cards
Top App for Swapping Gift Cards
Have you ever been given a gift card for a store you never visit? These specialized websites specialize in trading gift cards for cash, so you can finally use the funds on a gift card from your relative who keeps asking if you've used it. The disadvantage of these sites is that you might not get the full value of the gift card in cash when you exchange the card, and there is frequently a fee involved. Nevertheless, it's much better than having it collect dust in a cabinet! The majority of the websites mentioned in this guide provide between 80 and 85 percent of the value of the gift card, giving you the opportunity to still use the money effectively.
You no longer need a physical copy of the gift card thanks to websites' advancements. Due to an increase in the use of e-gift cards, you can now exchange digital codes and credit. Always be wary of less trustworthy websites because some will waste your time and money by adding undetected fees or withholding payment. In order to give you peace of mind, we've included both tried-and-true sites and ones that we felt weren't as trustworthy in this guide, so you can exchange your gift card with assurance.
Some of these exchange websites also provide "used cards" for sale at discounted prices. If you know you'll be shopping at a specific retailer, this can be a great opportunity to save money. However, these codes may be invalid or have already been used on more shady websites, so do your research before making a purchase. Check out our guides to the best auction sites and the best online shoe stores for more information on where to shop.
Raise: Best overall gift card exchange
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Raise is a simple gift card exchange website with a well-designed website. The design is clean and modern, and it's easy to find where to buy, sell, and earn rewards. There's also a free mobile app with the same design ethos and is equally easy to use. Raise will give you a year from the time you purchase a gift card to request a refund if the physical card does not arrive, has an incorrect balance, or is simply not the card you ordered.
Raise has offered us good money for our gift cards in the past and has deals on top retailers with the added benefit of cashback where gift cards were not available. When exchanging gift cards for cash, you're guaranteed 85-90% of the value, which is on the low end compared to other exchange sites. However, because some websites may charge hidden fees, we discovered that the final amount was quite comparable.
There's bound to be an option to suit your needs, with the option of being paid via PayPal, direct deposit, or a check in the mail (which comes with a large fee, so we recommend avoiding this option). It also has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau, making it our top gift card exchange company to recommend.
Gift Card Spread: Ideal for purchasing gift cards
Reasons to Purchase and Reasons to Avoid
Gift Card Spread offers impressive discounts of up to 31% on a wide range of gift cards to suit a wide range of needs. The website is simple to navigate and searches for gift cards alphabetically, as well as by price and card type. Each retailer offers a "up to" a certain amount in savings, and you can then click through to explore the more specific options available to you.
Unfortunately, the process of selling your card is far too complicated to make it worthwhile. Gift Card Spread ranks highly for purchasing gift cards, particularly for its user-friendly search functions, and it's best to stick to this as its primary use. We recommend that anyone looking to exchange or sell gift cards stick to other sites that specialize in this.
CardCash is the best option for sellers.
While CardCash advertises "up to" significant discounts on vouchers, the reality is far from ideal. The savings are frequently less than a percentage of the full retail price, which isn't worth the hassle of purchasing through a third-party site. If you find a good deal, there is a 45-day guarantee on all purchases to sweeten the deal.
CardCash, like some of the other sites in our roundup, is more likely to sell your gift card than buy one. The site's rates for selling your gift card were higher than competitors', making them a great option if you want to get the most money back. You can also choose to receive the funds via PayPal or direct debit payments, which means they will be in your account in days rather than weeks.
Gift Card Granny: The best card selection
Reasons to Purchase and Reasons to Avoid
Gift Card Granny's rating is significantly boosted by the availability of a free mobile app. The ability to easily navigate the app on your smartphone makes browsing through cards to buy even easier. It offers gift cards from dozens of exchange websites and retailers, with something for everyone. Cashback is also available, allowing you to personalize eGifts for loved ones.
Gift Card Granny is jam-packed with useful, informative content and has a plethora of options for purchase; however, it does not allow you to sell your gift card. If that's what you're looking for, you should visit a site that offers this option. Gift Card Granny, on the other hand, has an extremely comprehensive list of over 1300 brands, making it a one-stop shop for purchasing discounted cards.
Card Kangaroo: A large collection of cards.
Card Kangaroo Characteristics
As of last November, Card Kangaroo had an inventory of about 1,300 cards and had served nearly 59,000 customers. This website allows you to buy, sell, or trade unwanted gift cards, as well as check the balance of a card you found in your wallet. CardKangaroo guarantees the stated balance of purchased gift cards up to $500 for 100 days from the date they are purchased. They accept all major credit cards and PayPal.
If you want to sell your cards, simply enter the merchant and card value into the website to receive an offer. Rather than simply providing the card's number and other information, you'll be given a shipping label and asked to mail your gift card in. CardKangaroo is a great gift card swap option if this isn't too much of a hassle for you. You will be paid in the form of a check or through PayPal.
If you'd rather trade for a different gift card, simply select that option after entering the information for the card you'd like to exchange. Once you've decided on a gift card, you'll have to ship it in before receiving the one you exchanged it for.
GiftCardBin: Excellent for increasing customer satisfaction
If the other companies we tested aren't producing the desired results, you might want to consider GiftCardBin. After you create an account, you can search by discount, store, category, or your own favorites. You can purchase either electronic or physical gift cards, with the latter arriving in the mail within ten business days. Digital cards will be available in your account within two business days, which is longer than some claim.
You can also get printable vouchers that are redeemable in-store at certain retailers. During our testing, we saw discounts as high as31%, which meant you could get a $140 Lane Bryant card for less than $100. However, in order for this deal to work, you must be confident in making a large purchase.
We saw some impressive savings with GiftCardBin, so sign up for alerts if any of your favorite retailers offer a great deal. While not accredited, GiftCardBin's A+ BBB rating indicates a high level of customer satisfaction, which is one of the site's major advantages over competitors.
Why should you believe us?
We've been reviewing gift card exchange websites since2010, and we know how stressful it can be. The payout for selling a card and the discounts available for purchasing them appear to change almost daily. This is due to the fact that it is a supply-and-demand market. The more of a particular card a website has, the greater the discount they will offer on it. If there is a high demand for a small number of cards, the discount will be lower.
The gift card market is enormous. According to CardCash, physical cards are growing at a 6% annual rate, but digital cards are growing at a 200% annual rate (opens in a new tab).
According to Marina Hodges, chair of the Retail Gift Card Association (opens in new tab), the organization has about 90 members who represent retailers, card producers, gift card exchanges, and others. She stated that while opinions vary by retailer, the majority are in favor of exchanges.
"If I'm a retailer, it's great because the person who has my card will shop with me instead of throwing it in a drawer," Hodges said.
The RGCA was founded in 2008 with the goal of growing and preserving the gift card industry. At the same time, the group understands the risks of using third-party resellers such as gift card exchange websites. Users are encouraged to educate themselves on gift card exchanges before using one, according to an official statement on the RGCA website. It offers several suggestions for shopping for gift cards to ensure you get a good deal and avoid fraud:
Why didn't we include Cardpool?
Cardpool is not recommended because it has a F rating with the BBB, which is the lowest rating they give. It's definitely worth considering! Many reviews claimed that Cardpool did not send out cards or pay the correct amount when purchasing from sellers. As a result, we cannot recommend this website, but you are free to consider it.
Cardpool's one-year guarantee is one of its main advantages. Unlike competitors such as CardCash, which only guarantees 45 days, Cardpool allows you to be paid in Amazon gift cards, which is a unique offer among the companies we reviewed. We particularly liked the Cardpool app, which provides access to a digital wallet and allows you to purchase gift cards on the go—even while standing in line at the checkout. You can save money by paying in-store with your phone.
The app is only available on the Apple App Store, which is a disadvantage. Popular retailers have lower discounts. However, if you're making a larger purchase, it's still a good way to save a few dollars, and it will add up over time. Other retailers, such as American Eagle, offered much larger discounts, such as 17% off.
What about Cardpool vending machines?
Cardpool is distinct in that it provides its gift card exchange service via kiosks. These kiosks are typically located within another store, such as a Target, and can be found using Cardpool's online map search feature. Once you've found a location, simply bring all of your unwanted gift cards there and swipe them through the machine. You can also exchange digital gift cards.
The cards must have at least $15 and no more than $1,000 on them, so that Starbucks card in your wallet with a couple dollars on it won't work. At a kiosk, you can get up to 85% of the card's value, though your return will vary depending on the type of gift card you exchange. The kiosk asks for your personal information and then offers you cash in exchange for the cards. Finally, you collect your money from the store's service desk or, if you have a reloadable Visa gift card, from the kiosk.
A government-issued ID, a cell phone number, an email address, and, in some cases, a credit card number are required to use a kiosk. This is done to prevent fraud and to prevent someone else from collecting your money at the store's service desk. Cardpool will never charge your credit card without your permission if you are asked to enter it. You may face charges if the gift card you sell was obtained illegally.
You've probably noticed some changes in recent years if you're used to using Coinstar kiosks. Cardpool now owns Coinstar Exchange kiosks, so these machines can count your change and give you cash in addition to exchanging your unwanted gift cards. These machines are typically green in color. Gift Card Exchange kiosks are yellow in color and only accept gift cards.
How we discovered the top gift card exchange websites
We examined every aspect of these gift card exchange websites to determine how well they function and whether they are worth your time. We purchased gift cards from major retailers and calculated how much we could resell them for. We also looked at the size of the discounts on cards available for purchase from top brands. We also downloaded the app when it was an option to ensure it worked as advertised, and while the majority of gift cards available are digital, we looked at shipping rates for shoppers looking for a physical gift card.
The number and variety of retailers from which you can purchase gift cards on exchange websites fluctuates. Rather than trying to keep track of how many individual retailers were available, we looked for three big players—American Eagle, Macy's, and Walmart—at the same time on the same day across all of the websites we tested. We then assigned a letter grade based on whether the website offered cards for purchase from those retailers.
We also checked with the Better Business Bureau to ensure the legitimacy of these gift card exchange websites. The BBB is a consumer watchdog organization that assigns companies ratings A through F based on information from businesses and customer complaints. These ratings aren't a guarantee, but they can help you determine whether a company or website has had recurring issues or consumer complaints.
Gift cards vs. prepaid cards
A gift card is essentially cash that can only be spent at one store. You use the card until the balance is depleted and then discard it, though some retailers allow you to add more money to the card so you can keep using it. Not all stores allow you to reload existing cards, and the store may issue you a new gift card each time you want to add money. Fees are one red flag to look for, as gift cards should not have any. If a retailer attempts to charge you a fee for using a gift card, we recommend that you use another method of payment or shop elsewhere.
Prepaid cards are intended to be reloadable, and as such, they may incur fees. These differ depending on the card, so read the fine print if you go this route. These cards, which can be used for everyday expenses, are frequently available from credit card companies such as Visa. According to Wallet Hub, prepaid cards can cost up to $311 per year in fees, so if you can, choose cards directly from a bank because they have lower fees and a more secure guarantee. You can also avoid this quagmire entirely by purchasing a gift card. If the person can't find anything they like at the store, they can use a gift card exchange to get one they will!
Digital vs. physical
Make sure you understand what you're getting when exchanging gift cards. Some websites only offer digital gift cards. This means you'll get an email with a code within a day or two. These codes can then be used for online shopping, though most retailers will allow you to use them in-store at the cash register if you have all of the necessary information, such as the full card number and activation code. Some websites will mail you a physical gift card, but you will have to wait longer for it to arrive. According to our research, it usually takes about seven business days for cards to arrive at your door, but this is in addition to the one or two days it will take the company to process your order and get it in the mail. If you need something quickly, digital gift cards are the way to go. Another consideration when deciding between digital and physical gift cards is your level of organization. If you find yourself losing and forgetting dozens of punch cards and gift cards in your wallet, a digital card will be far more useful. If, on the other hand, your computer's emails and files are disorganized, you might want to go with something physical that you can hold in your hands until you need it.
How much does it cost to exchange gift cards?