Living with credit, New products

Swap those unwanted gift cards online

Jeremy Simon

Perhaps you have always loved every gift you have ever been given. But more likely, you realize that sometimes good intentions aren’t enough for you to overlook how truly horrendous that sweater from Cousin Gertrude looks when you put it on. Personally, I haven’t been wild about every gift I’ve ever received. Recalling how much I enjoyed drawing, a relative once gave me a set of extra large crayons, designed to be easily gripped by the chubby fingers of a “child’s small hands” — when I was twelve. With the surge in gift card giving, that sweater you can’t stand may be replaced by a piece of plastic from a store you wouldn’t be caught dead shopping in.

When it comes to unwanted presents, a gift card may still be better than that tasteless sweater or jumbo crayons. After all, regifting is much easier (you can’t exactly pawn off a size medium sweater from the Elf Collection to just anyone) with a gift card. Also, you won’t be forced to wear your gift card every time Gertrude comes to visit in order to prove to her how much you love it.

An online market has even sprung up for swapping unwanted gift cards, according to the New York Times. The Times names three Web sites that allow you to buy, sell and trade gift cards, which are featured on The Bachelor Guy blog:, and Visitors to those cites should note that “Fees vary widely, and each offers various additional services, like allowing users to pay bills in exchange for their cards or to trade them for universal gift cards issued by credit card companies (similar to a stored-value card),” the Times says.

While trading for universal (or “open loop”) gift cards may offer greater spending freedom, these gift cards more frequently also come with fees and expiration dates. In other words, your funds may go farther if you can find something you like using a retailer-issued gift card, even at a store you hate.

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