Turning Unused Gift Cards Into Travel Funds

** Update 1/15/13: Less than a week later, I received the full value promised for all three cards, which I mailed in and were quickly verified. The payments were issued promptly via Paypal and are now sitting happily in my savings account. No complaints what so ever!

If you’re at all like me, you get a handful of gift cards each year to places you only sometimes, maybe frequent, and then, months or years later, you stumble across the in the depths of your closet or junk drawer or wherever. Ring any bells?

So surprise, surprise when I stumbled across not one, not two, but six unused gift cards scattered about my room after this past weekend’s big clean. Though I’m sure I could use them if I really put my mind to them, certain ones more so than others, I’m not so sure I even want to. A few of them are for pricier chains that, if I were to shop at, I’m sure I’d end up with a total way more than the gift card amount. Funny how that works, eh?

Seeing how I’m eight days and still going strong on my resolutions to save, save, save this year (as I would hope so), I turned to the World Wide Web to turn these finds into a little extra cash. Three “sold” (technically, exchanged) gift cards later, I’m already up $70+ dollars. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to exchange them for full price, but I’ll honestly take what I can get. If that’s not good enough, I can always remind myself that $70 will get me a couple days in Bali, Budapest, Nicaragua (as well as other countries in Central America), Greece (another top travel destination of mine) and Thailand (per Nomadic Matt’s post on five places less than $30 per day).

Do you know what? I’m perfectly OK with multiple days in any of those places.

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Back to my gift cards, following a little google sleuthing, I came across Gift Card Granny, the database for all things gift card selling. With GCG, I was able to price shop for the best deal (between 70-85% of face value) on exchanging my gift cards for cash. If you’re worried that certain retailers won’t be included, still give it a shot. I had gift cards for a wide variety of stores, though they were all chains (Hhgregg, Rue 21, DSW, Gap and Macy’s). Bonus, if you’ve been eying something off Amazon, check to GCG to exchange your gift cards for an Amazon one instead of cash (you get a slightly higher pay out rate that way).

I did hold on to the Gap, DSW and Macy’s cards should I need them down the road, but, if I haven’t used them come June, I’ll be returning to Gift Card Granny to get some use out of the bad boys.

What special tricks have you used to save the extra dollar or two (all in the name of travel, of course)?

** These opinions are my own. I was not contacted by Gift Card Granny to publish this piece or review their services. 

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One thought on “Turning Unused Gift Cards Into Travel Funds

  1. Pingback: Savings Recap: January 2014 | Girl Gone Bali

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