What you can do with less-than-perfect gift cards

Websites buy, sell unwanted gift cards

SAN ANTONIO – Plastic is popular, and chances are you received a gift card or two over the holidays.

Hopefully, it's a perfect fit, but if it's not, you have options besides letting it languish in your wallet.  An estimated $1 billion in gift cards purchased in a year go unused.

Several websites, such as Cardcash.com and Cardpool.com, let you turn your unwanted cards into cash. You don't get face value, and the more in-demand cards will fetch more.

For instance, at Cardpool.com, a $100 Toys R Us gift card can be cashed out for $75. If you trade for an Amazon gift card, you'll get a $79.50 value. A $100 Walmart card pays out $90.

Raise.com helps you sell to another person and takes a 12 percent commission.

Giftcardgranny.com is an aggregate site. You type in what you want to sell, and you get several offers to compare.

Some retailers, including some Target stores, will exchange other retailers' cards for one of theirs. Of course, you lose some monetary value in the transaction.

Another option is to donate to charity. You can give in person, or websites such as charitygiftcertificates.org help facilitate the donation.

The online marketplace also lets you buy gift cards for less than face value.

The FBI warns consumers to beware of deals that sound too good and to use only reputable websites. 

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