The value of unwanted gift cards in the U.S. is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. In fact, it’s very likely that you have an unused gift card laying around or languishing in your purse or wallet.
If so, you could turn those gift cards into cash. That’s what I did!
We wanted to see how easy it is to sell unwanted gift cards. So for this article, we purchased five physical $20 Walmart gift cards and attempted to sell them on five different online platforms.
Doing so took around three hours and paid $80.51 (about a 20% discount off the gift cards’ face value).
This article outlines the testing methodology we used, the results, and my experience with the platforms we tested.
Keep the following in mind when deciding where to sell your gift cards.
- Raise is the most popular and most well-known gift card selling site, but it paid significantly less than some of the other platforms we tried.
- Raise, CardCash and ClipKard will all accept partially-used gift cards.
- Though eBay paid out the most, the platform is risky to use for selling gift cards because of scammers.
- CardCash paid nearly as much as eBay and proved to be much less of a hassle.
- ClipKard paid the least and required the extra step of sending in the gift card by mail.
In three out of five cases, I was able to send the gift card to the buyer digitally. That saved time and money on postage and shipping supplies. If you have a physical card that can’t be digitized, figure in the cost and hassle of mailing it.
Our Test Results
Our test results indicate that eBay offers the best payouts for unwanted gift cards. However, eBay only allows you to sell physical gift cards, not digital gift cards.
CardCash is the best platform for digital gift cards. It’s also arguably the better option for physical cards, because it doesn’t come with the same risk of scams as eBay (see below for more on this), but pays a comparable rate.
ClipKard offered the least amount of money by a fair margin, and the gift card had to be shipped by mail. It may not always be the case that ClipKard is the lowest offer, though, so it’s worth checking. Different brands net different offers on different marketplaces, and those offers can change.
|Payout After Fees
Note: Most of the top free gift card platforms only pay in digital cards, but a handful allow you to opt for a physical gift card.
How We Set Up the Test
I tested five platforms using five physical $20 Walmart gift cards. Although these gift cards were physical, they also had the ability to be used online (on Walmart.com). This capacity to be used as either an e-gift card or a physical gift card turned out to be very important when trying to sell them for cash, because not all platforms accept both types of cards.
Note that on some platforms, you can set the price you want to get for your gift cards. When that was an option, I asked for $18. When that wasn’t an option, I accepted the cash offer that I was presented with.
I was able to set the price in three instances, though being given that opportunity didn’t make much difference in terms of earnings.
You Can’t Sell Digital Amazon Gift Cards!
Initially, I set out to sell five $20 Amazon digital gift cards. However, it quickly became apparent that I would not be able to do so.
That’s because digital Amazon gift cards do not have a serial number or PIN number to exchange. Rather, when you’re given an Amazon e-gift card, you click a link and the value of the card gets added directly to your Amazon account.
You’re also not allowed to use the balance of a digital Amazon gift card to buy a physical Amazon gift card. (We tried that, too.)
Moreover, most gift card exchanges I considered using — Raise, CardCash, GiftCash and ClipKard — don’t accept Amazon cards, digital or otherwise.
For those reasons, I had to pivot to Walmart gift cards.
The Best Sites for Selling Gift Cards
Below is my experience with each of the platforms I tested in the order that I tested them.
Raise is a discount gift card marketplace that sources its cards from businesses and consumers and offers a simple, transparent selling process. Raise does not buy your gift cards; it makes them available for customers to purchase, then facilitates the payment and transfer.
I signed up for Raise with my email address, phone number and a password. Then, I authenticated my device via a text message from the company. Authentication can also be done with a phone call.
To start a listing, I had to verify my identity via a temporary $1 charge to my credit card. It says you can input your debit card information as an alternative, but that didn’t work for me. (I had to use an actual credit card.) This identity verification process needed my card details, billing address and phone number.
Listing a gift card for sale on Raise requires inputting the serial number, PIN, the current balance, and a selling price. Raise will suggest a price once there’s a value in the “current balance” field.
I listed my card for $18, and it sold within two minutes. Had I picked Raise’s recommended price, which was just cents away from the full value of the card, the outcome may have pushed Raise above Gameflip in the earnings ranking table above. Raise took a 15% cut from my sale, which is standard, leaving me with $15.30 in the end.
According to the automated email notifying me of the sale, I was able to get paid via ACH deposit, PayPal or check. Raise also shows those payout options on the listing page. The email even explains how long each option will take.
However, checks come with a $30 processing fee and take seven to 14 days. PayPal takes five business days and has a minimum threshold of $5. And ACH deposits take three business days.
I didn’t see a paper check as an option when I went to get my payout. I only saw ACH and PayPal, which is consistent with Raise’s help center information, so it’s unclear if getting paid by check is possible.
It only took four days from sale to deposit, even accounting for a holiday.
CardCash provides an easy, accessible way to sell unwanted gift cards. It also claims to pay up to 92% of their face value, though that wasn’t the case for me.
To start, I clicked the “Sell Gift Cards” tab at the top of the homepage. That took me to a page that asked for a store name and balance. Once I put those in, CardCash made me an offer right away. (Unlike Raise, CardCash buys your gift card directly.)
I was offered a cash payout of $17.30 for my $20 Walmart gift card. Or I could trade it for gift cards from companies including Amazon, Home Depot, Kohl’s and more. I opted for the cash.
The next page asked for the gift card’s serial number and PIN. I input those and tried to continue, but CardCash then prompted me to create an account. To do so, I needed to give the site my first and last name, an email address, and a password. I then had to verify my account via an emailed code.
Moving on, CardCash collected my contact information, including phone number and primary residence. I provided my ACH information at this stage, as well. (Payment is also available by PayPal Express or paper check).
I still had to verify my identity two more times. The first time I had to allow a temporary $1 charge on my credit card. (Though the language specifies credit card, I was able to use my debit card for this.) The second time came after I confirmed my order. This verification happened via text message.
I soon got an email saying it could take three business days for my order to be reviewed. It took one, and my payment arrived within four days
ClipKard accepts physical gift cards from more than 100 brands, as long as they’re worth at least $15.
To sign up, I needed to provide my name, email address, physical address and a password. I also needed to accept ClipKard’s terms and conditions.
After signing up, I found Walmart in the list of brands that ClipKard accepts, added the balance of my gift card ($20) and clicked “Add Gift Card.”
That populated “Step 1: Get Offer” with the quantity, brand, cash value, offer and rewards points value, leaving a text box for me to input the serial number. ClipKard does not need a PIN to proceed.
I was offered $14.27 for my card, and I accepted. I chose to get paid via PayPal, but paper check is also available.
I had to confirm that my card didn’t expire, was plastic, that my mailing address or PayPal ID was correct, and agree to the terms and conditions again to finalize the sale.
Since I was selling a $20 gift card, I didn’t qualify for the free shipping label that ClipKard gives for orders over $25.
I shipped my card on January 17th, 2024. As of February 2nd, the transaction is still listed as “in progress.” We’ll update this article once the payment clears.
Gameflip is a marketplace for gamers to exchange digital products, including gift cards. Though it’s more niche than the other options on this list, it isn’t small. More than 12 million items have been sold on the platform.
When I got started with Gameflip, I had to register with a username, password and email address. After that, I had to scroll to the footer and click the following:
- “Become a Seller”
- A second “Become a Seller!” button
- “I Have Something to Sell”
- And finally, “Gift Cards.”
Gameflip required me to verify my account via phone number and email address.
For sellers, there’s a more in-depth identity verification process than on other sites. I had to submit three photos: one holding my ID over a paper that said “for Gameflip” and the date; one of the front of my ID; and one of the back of my ID.
The company says it can take several days to review identity verification submissions, but in my case, it took one business day.
Once I was approved to sell, I was able to make a listing for my gift card. This included a title, description and price. I also had to choose the delivery method, which could be instant, one day, two days or three days. The good thing about the instant option is that delivery isn’t made until after the payment has been processed, so there’s no real chance of getting scammed.
I priced my $20 Walmart gift card at $18. Gameflip charged a 36-cent digital transfer fee and $1.44 in commission. That left me with a $16.20 net payout.
Sellers get a few protections on the site:
- Payments are held in escrow until the item is delivered.
- There’s no chargeback liability.
- Gameflip will mediate disputes.
- And you can report buyers.
When my sale went through, the buyer had three days to accept and finalize the transaction. (They took the full three days to do it, too!) Once the card was accepted by the buyer, Gameflip immediately deposited the money in my Gameflip wallet. It had been eight days since I registered for the site and submitted my identity verification photos.
I got to my Gameflip wallet by mousing over my avatar at the top right of the page and selecting “Wallet.” From there, I clicked “Withdraw” to access my funds. Gameflip issues payouts through Wise, Payoneer, Skrill and Bitcoin.
Like ClipKard, eBay is a viable marketplace if you have a physical gift card. (Digital gift cards are not permitted on the platform.) There are hundreds for sale on the platform, ranging from Macy’s to Petsmart, so I thought it’d be a good place to try.
To create a listing on eBay, I had to type into a text box what I was listing, which sent me to a page asking for the brand, type, expiration year, expiration month and value. I answered those questions, but you can skip them if you want by clicking “Continue Without Match” at the bottom of the page. If you skip them, you’ll have to manually input that information on the next page.
On the listing page, I added a title, valid locations and one photo. eBay offers an AI to write descriptions of items, so I used it to fill out the description for my card. As a side note, since this is AI, it’s always a good idea to double-check what it wrote to make sure nothing is amiss.
I started bids for my $20 Walmart gift card at $10 with a Buy It Now price of $18. The buyer would pay shipping, which amounted to roughly $3.60.
Unsurprisingly, no one bit on the Buy It Now price, since it cost more than the card’s value after shipping. However, I had five bids within the first hour of posting. Bids ended at $21, meaning the card sold for a tad more than it was worth.
Note: I have no idea why someone would pay more than the face value of the gift card!
I netted $17.44, which is the most I received from any of the vendors I tested. The whole process, from listing to bank deposit, took 14 days.
That said, selling gift cards on eBay can be risky. There is a potential scam in which the buyer claims the item was not as described in order to get a refund, so they essentially get the card’s value for free and leave you empty-handed.
It’s much safer to go with a specialized gift card market.
Exploring Other Options
Finding reputable sites was a matter of googling and making note of those mentioned online. Raise, CardCash and ClipKard are commonly brought up as places to sell gift cards. Gameflip is less so, but it does get named here and there.
I wasn’t familiar with Gameflip when I started testing, so I took a hard look at its Trustpilot score and reviews. With its 4.3 overall rating and 1,606 reviews, I felt comfortable moving forward with it.
Then there’s eBay, which isn’t often associated with selling gift cards but does host hundreds of sales at any given time. The amount of cards being sold on the platform, and its reputation as a solid marketplace, made it feel like a good place to list.
The five options above are the ones I found most suitable for selling $20 Walmart gift cards.
There is another notable gift card cash-out platform, though.
GiftCash requires a minimum value of $25. However, some cards have higher minimum values to sell. For example, Best Buy and Walmart cards must be worth at least $50. The maximum value GiftCash accepts is $2,000.
The company requires you to swipe physical gift cards, so you’ll have to use a USB card reader to sell them if that’s what you have.
Payouts can be as much as 93% of the card’s face value and are available via ACH or cryptocurrency. If you opt for cryptocurrency, a small fee will be deducted from your payout. Orders can take up to 15 business days to be processed, but the payout is immediate once processing is finished.
Reddit’s r/GiftCardExchange subreddit is another option worth looking into for selling your gift cards, even though it describes itself as a place to swap. There’s risk involved with selling on Reddit, but following the forum’s rules and practicing due diligence should help you avoid becoming a victim.
Summary & Final Thoughts
My test results show that eBay and CashCard are the best platforms for selling unwanted gift cards, as they netted the most money after fees. eBay is limited to physical cards, though, so if you’ve got an e-gift card, CashCard is the best bet.
Although it landed in the middle of the pack, there’s reason to use Gameflip if you’re interested in cryptocurrency, as Bitcoin is a payment option. The same is true for GiftCash if you have a card that’s eligible to be sold on the platform.
There are plenty of places to go to sell your unwanted gift cards, and most make it easy to do so. The only thing you have to do is find yours at the bottom of your junk drawer.