Sign up for AARP's The Daily newsletter for more great tips Monday through Friday.
by Sid Kirchheimer, AARP Bulletin, April 20, 2010
Millions of gift cards have morphed from Christmas stocking stuffers to sock drawer dust collectors—an estimated $5 billion worth purchased in 2009 will go unused, predicts research firm TowerGroup. That means now is a good time to cash in on other people’s unwanted presents.
You can buy unwanted gift cards for up to 30 percent less than their face value at websites such as PlasticJungle, GiftCardRescue, GiftCardBuyback, and GiftCardsAgain.
And come Aug. 22, they may become more useful. That’s when the final provisions of the Credit CARD Act take effect, including a ban on inactivity fees on most store-branded gift cards unless they go unused for at least 12 months, and a requirement that most gift cards remain valid for up to five years after their purchase.
You can also sell your unwanted gift cards at most gift card swap sites, generally for 60 to 90 percent of their value. At GiftCards.com, proceeds from your sale can go directly to pay utility or other bills.
Sid Kirchheimer writes about consumer and health issues.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Free calculators to help manage your money
Rate bonus on high-yield online savings account
Real-life solutions to help close the retirement savings gap
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at