Tools & MorePersonal FinancesExchange Gift Cards For Cash: The Best Gift Card Exchange Kiosks

Exchange Gift Cards For Cash: The Best Gift Card Exchange Kiosks

How to Exchange Gift Cards For Cash: The Best Tips and Strategies

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Gift cards have become a go-to gift for many occasions. They continue to be a popular choice for gifts, with a total expenditure of $28.6 billion in 2022. A slight increase from the $28.1 billion spent in 2021. Similar to the previous year, holiday shoppers intend to buy between three to four gift cards, or approximately $165.87 per person. This is according to the National Retail Federation.

However, receiving a gift card that goes unused or gets lost in a drawer is all too common. Fortunately, exchanging gift cards for cash is easier than ever, allowing you to get value from unwanted gift cards.

Gift card exchanges can help you make the most of your unwanted gift cards by providing cash, discounts, and hassle-free transactions. When using gift cards, it is important to be aware of the pros and cons and to choose reputable exchanges that offer purchase protection and return policies

This comprehensive guide will explore the ins and outs of gift card exchanges, including the top exchange platforms, how to get the best value, safety tips, and strategies to maximize savings. With the right approach, you can turn unused gift cards into extra spending money or shopping discounts.

Exchanging unwanted gift cards for cash or other gift cards offers many benefits:

Managing gift cards efficiently is key to avoiding wasted money on unused cards. By exchanging unused cards through gift card marketplaces, you can recoup value and save on future purchases.

  • Get cash back on unused gift cards – On average, you can get 80 cents or more on the dollar by selling or exchanging gift cards, depending on the popularity of the brand.
  • Buy discounted gift cards – Some platforms let you trade an unwanted gift card for a discounted gift card to a store you’ll use.
  • Hassle-free transactions – Reputable gift card exchanges handle the transaction details, ensuring you get the quoted value.
  • Control spending – Using a gift card requires spending only the predefined amount, helping curb unnecessary purchases.
  • Alternative payment method – Gift cards can substitute for credit cards or cash.
  • Retail Gift Card Association Research

First Step: Understanding Gift Cards

Before exchanging gift cards, it helps to understand what they are and the different types available.

What Are Gift Cards?

Gift cards are prepaid debit cards that contain a set amount of money for purchases. They allow recipients to buy items or services from specific stores or across multiple retailers. Gift cards represent an alternative payment method to cash or credit.

Once purchased, gift card funds belong to the recipient. Companies cannot charge inactivity fees or expire gift card balances under federal law, as long as the card was bought after August 22, 2010. However, restrictions can apply in some states.

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Types of Gift Cards

There are several categories of gift cards:

  • Single merchant gift cards – Only usable at a specific retailer, like an Amazon gift card.
  • Multi-store gift cards – Redeemable at various unaffiliated merchants, like Visa or American Express gift cards.
  • Open-loop vs. closed-loop – Open-loop cards like Visa can be used anywhere, while closed-loop cards work at specific stores.
  • E-gift cards – Delivered electronically via email or text and used online or in-store.
  • Physical gift cards – Traditional plastic cards purchased in-store or online and used in-store or online.
  • Category-specific gift cards – Redeemable at a type of business, like restaurant or gas station gift cards.

Understanding the nuances helps determine the best places to exchange different kinds of gift cards.

Turn Unwanted Gift Cards into Cash at The Best Gift Card Exchange Kiosks

The best gift card exchange kiosks
Exchange Gift Cards For Cash: The Best Gift Card Exchange Kiosks

Do you have a bunch of unused or unwanted gift cards gathering dust in your wallet or desk drawer? Instead of letting their value go to waste, take those gift cards to an exchange kiosk and turn them into cold, hard cash.

  • Wondering, can you exchange gift cards for cash?
  • Unsure who buys gift cards?
  • Looking for cash for gift cards locations?
  • Wondering where you can find a gift card exchange for cash locations?

Gift card exchange kiosks are automated machines that allow you to swap out old gift cards for cash. They provide a convenient way to get money back for cards you don’t want or can’t use. Here are some of the top gift card exchange kiosk options:


GiftCardBin has over 600 kiosk locations across the U.S. where you can exchange unwanted gift cards for cash. Their kiosks support cards from hundreds of top retailers like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and more. To find a location near you, check their website. GiftCardBin offers up to 92% cash back on your cards.


Cardpool partners with major retailers like Target to place their gift card exchange kiosks inside stores. Use their online map to locate a kiosk near you. At a Cardpool kiosk, you can get up to 85% of a gift card’s value back in cash. The kiosk will instantly credit your funds to a Cardpool account.


Coinstar kiosks can be found inside many grocery stores and big-box retailers. Look for their signature green logo. In addition to coins, Coinstar machines support gift card exchange. You can swap out gift cards from retailers like Amazon, Starbucks, iTunes, and Home Depot for cash.

Giftcard Bin

Giftcard Bin runs dozens of kiosks across the U.S. primarily located in malls and shopping centers. Their machines provide instant cash back for a wide selection of popular gift card brands. Expect to receive around 80% of a card’s value.


Many CVS pharmacy locations feature gift card exchange kiosks. Bring in your unused gift cards to retrieve cash at a nearby CVS. You can exchange gift cards from retailers like Target, Walmart, and Amazon.

Kroger Gift Card Kiosk, Smith’s etc.

Major grocery chains like Kroger and Smith’s often have gift card exchange kiosks available. Look for them at the front of the store. You’ll get cash back for gift cards from Kroger and other supported brands.

The process is quick and easy. Just bring your physical gift cards and a valid photo ID to a kiosk location. Enter your phone number and email to create an account. Then insert each gift card into the machine to receive instant cash back. With so many convenient options, there’s no reason to let unused gift cards in your wallet go to waste.

The Best Gift Card Exchange Websites

There are many benefits for thse who look to exchange your gift card, sell your unwanted gift cards, or swap gift cards to recoup some of the value of the gift card.

The Best Tips for Exchanging Gift Cards

  • Trade unused cards for ones you’ll use
  • Get discounted gift cards to your favorite brands
  • Convenient online exchanges if you want to sell your card
  • Control spending with prepaid cards
  • Alternative payment method to cash or credit, such as digital gift cards

Managing gift cards by exchanging unused ones allows you to get value from cards you don’t need. This guide explores the top online exchanges, retail kiosks, and strategies to maximize savings by trading gift cards.

Reputable online gift card marketplaces make it easy to securely trade unwanted gift cards for cash or discounts.

I strongly suggest you read my recent article Best Ways To Sell a Gift Card Online, which goes into the gift card exchange sites mroe in depth.

Here are some of the top exchange platforms:


CardCash consistently offers among the highest payouts compared to competitors, frequently over 90% of a gift card’s value. You simply create an account to buy  and sell gift cards.  You can choose to be paid via PayPal or direct deposit payouts for quick payment of the card’s value.

They accept cards, nearly all physical and e-gift cards. CardCash also provides purchase protection and fraud guarantees for added security.

Gift Card Granny

Gift Card Granny lets you compare buyback rates across over a dozen trusted vendors. You can also trade gift cards directly through their site. Gift Card Granny accepts and price checks both physical and e cards for sale. They offer a 110% price match guarantee to find the best rate.


Raise is another of the gift card exchange sites that focuses on discounted gift cards.  Letting you buy, sell or trade e-gift cards to hundreds of retailers at up to 35% off face value. You can also trade in unwanted cards, typically getting over 85% of the remaining balance. Raise thoroughly vets gift cards to prevent fraud.


Cardpool buys, sells, and trades physical and e gift cards online. They accept nearly 600 brands and generally pay out 80-92% when sell the gift card. You can choose between PayPal, direct deposit, or mailed checks. Cardpool also has discount gift cards for up to 35% off.


SwapaDollar lets you exchange gift cards or buy discounted electronic gift cards, for the gift card you want. They accept over 300 major brands and local merchants. SwapaDollar offers user-friendly mobile apps to check balances and manage cards on the go.

This list represents only a sample of the many reputable gift card marketplaces. Comparing buyback rates across multiple sites helps maximize your payout. Consider factors like convenience, accepted brands, and fees.


How To Sell Your Gift Card For Cash Online

Exchanging an unwanted gift card for one you want online is simple:

  1. Pick a trusted exchange site
  2. Enter your unused gift card details
  3. Select the discounted card you want
  4. Confirm the exchange
  5. Receive your new e-gift card

Online exchanges provide the most options for trading an unwanted card for a discounted brand you’ll actually use.

Use a Gift Card Exchange Kiosks

In addition to online exchanges, another option is using gift card exchange kiosks located inside major retail stores.

Benefits of retail gift card kiosks:

  • Fast, simple, and convenient transactions
  • Immediate cash, gift card, or cryptocurrency payouts
  • Found at many large retailers like grocery and drug stores

Here’s how gift card kiosks work:

Gift card exchange kiosks are machines that allow you to exchange your unwanted gift cards for cash or other gift cards. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to use them:

  1. Find a kiosk – Use a store locator to find kiosks inside local grocery stores, drugstores, and other big retailers.
  2. Insert your card – Feed your physical gift card into the machine for scanning. Enter any required information.
  3. Get an offer – The kiosk will make a buyback offer, typically around 70-80% of the balance.
  4. Select a payout – Choose to receive cash, a new gift card, or sometimes even cryptocurrency.
  5. Collect your payout – Once approved, the machine will dispense your selected form of payment.

While convenient, kiosks tend to provide lower buyback rates compared to online marketplaces. They also only accept physical gift cards, not e-cards. And location availability may be limited. But for a quick, simple transaction, gift card kiosks are a viable option.


How to find a gift card exchange kiosk:

1. Check online: Websites like Gift Card Granny and Cardpool offer online directories of gift card exchange kiosks.

2. Check in-store: Many retailers, such as Walmart, Target, and Walgreens, have gift card exchange kiosks in-store[2].

How to use a gift card exchange kiosk:

1. Insert your gift card: Insert your unwanted gift card into the kiosk.  It will need to read the card number and PIN on the back of the card.

2. Receive an offer: Turn unwanted gift cards into cash.  The kiosk will provide an offer for the gift card, which may be lower than the face value of the card.

3. Choose payout method: Choose a payout method, such as cash or another gift card.

4. Receive payment: Time to earn cash.  Once the gift card is verified, the kiosk will pay you for the gift card.

Pros and cons of gift card exchange kiosks:


1. Quick and convenient: Gift card exchange kiosks offer a quick and convenient way to exchange unwanted gift cards for cash or other gift cards.

2. No need to mail gift cards: Unlike online exchanges, gift card exchange kiosks allow you to exchange gift cards in person, eliminating the need to mail them.

3. Ability to buy other gift cards at a discount: Some gift card exchange kiosks offer the ability to buy other gift cards at a discount.


1. Lower payout: Gift card exchange kiosks may offer a lower payout than online exchanges.

2. Limited locations: Gift card exchange kiosks may not be available in all areas.

3. Limited options: Gift card exchange kiosks may only accept certain brands of gift cards.

In conclusion, gift card exchange kiosks offer a convenient way to exchange unwanted gift cards for cash or other gift cards. However, it is important to be aware of the pros and cons and to choose reputable exchanges that offer purchase protection and return policies.

Selling Unwanted Physical Gift Cards

While online exchanges provide the most convenience, you can also sell unwanted physical gift cards locally for cash using:

  • In-store kiosks – Major retailers like grocery and drug stores have gift card exchange kiosks that provide instant cash.
  • P2P marketplaces – Sell to another person rather than a company via Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or auction sites.
  • Pawn shops – Some pawn shops purchase gift cards, though often at lower rates than online.
  • Coinstar Exchange kiosks – Standalone Coinstar machines found inside major retailers accept gift cards, paying in cash.
  • Buyback websites – Sites like GiftCardBin allow you to mail in cards and receive checks.

Just keep in mind that in-person sell back methods tend to offer less than online marketplaces. And you’ll likely need to provide photo ID. Take standard safety precautions for person-to-person sales.


Discounted Gift Cards: Buy a Gift Card at a Discount

Beyond exchanging unwanted gift cards, you can also save money by purchasing discounted gift cards. Some leading options for finding deals:

  • Raise – E-gift cards discounted up to 35% with free shipping.
  • CardCash – Physical and e-gift cards discounted up to 10%.
  • Gift Card Granny – Price comparison tool finds the lowest discounted rates.
  • Cardpool – Physical and e-gift cards for up to 35% off face value.
  • SwapaDollar – Discounted e-gift cards from over 300 top brands.

Benefits of buying discounted gift cards:

  • Save 5-35% on brands you love
  • Use for gifts or personal shopping
  • Stack savings with coupons and promos
  • Support charitable causes (donation options)

However, discounted gift card deals vary greatly across sites and over time. So compare options to find the best current rates on brands you want.


Here are some tips for scoring deals:

  • Set up alerts for price drops on specific gift cards
  • Check for limited-time store promotions
  • Use a gift card deal aggregator like Gift Card Granny
  • Buy just before major holidays when discounts deepen
  • Purchase gift cards you can use year-round

Safety and Security

Like any financial transaction, it’s essential to keep safety in mind when looking to sell gift cards, buying cards or swapping cards:

  • Stick to trusted sites – Avoid lesser-known exchanges. Only use reputable platforms with purchase protection.
  • Inspect cards before buying – Review gift cards to spot any signs of tampering like pin holes or scratched-off areas.
  • Verify balances before selling – Check your card’s balance to ensure it matches what you tell the exchange platform.
  • Use exchanges with balance verification – Platforms that verify balances help avoid fraudulent sales.
  • Never share gift card details – Just like with credit card information.  Don’t give your card numbers listed on the card to strangers claiming to “verify” the card.
  • Review seller ratings – Buying from top retailers or an individual online? Check their ratings and reviews first.
  • Avoid public WiFi – Only access exchange sites on secure internet connections to prevent hacking.
  • Track your payment – Confirm payment is issued as expected before mailing physical cards.
  • Monitor your accounts – Review your financial accounts regularly for any suspicious charges.
  • Shred unwanted cards – After sale, physically destroy any leftover unwanted gift cards to prevent misuse.

As with any online marketplace, it’s impossible to eliminate all risks entirely. But following general best practices goes a long way toward secure, successful transactions.

Tips to Maximize Gift Card Savings

Beyond the basics of exchanging gift cards, there are insider strategies to maximize the cash or savings you earn:

Time it Right

Buyback rates fluctuate over time based on supply and demand. High-demand or popular gift cards from retailers like Starbucks typically earn higher payouts. Avoid exchanging gift cards within a month after Christmas when supply overwhelms demand.

Combine Discounts

If buying a discounted gift card, look for additional coupon codes or cashback opportunities to stack on even more savings.

Resell Bonus Cards

Bonus gift card promotions from credit card rewards programs can offer an easy profit. The cash value often exceeds the points redeemed.  Restuarant gift cards 

Buy Discount Gift Subscriptions

Some deal sites let you purchase discount gift card subscriptions for brands you use frequently to save all year long.

Participate in Rewards Programs

Loyalty programs like MyPanera and Starbucks Rewards let you earn free menu items on top of redeeming gift cards.

Avoid Resale Restrictions

A small number of retailers prohibit gift card resales. Research the brand’s policy before buying or selling their card.

Focus on Big Names

Larger national brands tend to get higher buyback rates than small chains or local shops. Stick to big, popular stores.

Buy Gift Cards as Gifts

When shopping for others, purchase gift cards during promotional periods to secure the best discounts.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of exchanging gift cards?

Exchanging lets you trade unused cards for ones you’ll actually use or get at a discount.

What types of gift cards can you exchange?

Most physical and e-gift cards can be exchanged, besides some retailer exclusions.

Where can you exchange gift cards?

Online exchanges, retail kiosks, P2P marketplaces, and buyback sites. Online tend to offer the best rates.

How does exchanging cards help you save?

You can exchange an unused card for one discounted 5-35% off that you’ll use.

Is exchanging gift cards safer than selling them?

Exchanging through reputable platforms carries less risk than selling to individuals.

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Note: The content provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as financial or legal advice. Consult with a professional advisor or accountant for personalized guidance.

Next Steps – How To Exchange Gift Cards or Sell a Gift Card

Turning Your Unwanted Gift Cards Into Cash

Instead of letting unused gift card balances go to waste stuck in a drawer, you can easily exchange cards you don’t want for cash or savings you can benefit from. A few minutes researching top exchange platforms can result in maximizing the return on unwanted gifts.

The best approach depends on your needs – get the highest buyback rate, score discounts on brands you love, or find the most convenient transaction method. With minimal time and effort, you can redeem better value from any gifted cards you don’t need. Give your unwanted gift cards a second life.

Michael Ryan
Michael Ryan
Who Am I? I'm Michael Ryan, a retired financial planner turned personal financial coach. And author and found of blog. My advice is backed by decades of hands-on experience in finance and recognition in esteemed publications like US News & World Report, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance. 'here'. Find answers to your financial questions, from budgeting to investing and retirement planning, on my blog My mission is to democratize financial literacy for all.