Find Holiday Money in Unused Gift Cards

by Kay Lynn

If you’re trying to find extra funds to use for the holidays, check your drawers for unused gift cards. J. Money had $250 tied up in unused gift cards earlier this year.

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

The Saved Quarter November 26, 2010 at 11:04 am

I’m using gift cards to stay under $100 for my holiday gifts! Love the cartoon!

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Saved Quarter, that’s an amazing holiday budget. I know Red was saving gift cards for the same purpose.

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Deedee November 26, 2010 at 11:23 am

Well, the only gift card around my house is one to a resort in Idaho that we received for Christmas last year. I cannot imagine when we might find ourselves there, and a gift card of $100 won’t even cover the cost of a room for one night, let alone the travel costs to get there. So it’s not worth making the trip just to use the gift card. And it is not a card that can be sold on any of those gift card websites either. I might try craigslist?

We usually use gift cards very soon after receiving them, just to avoid forgetting about them or losing them.

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:46 pm

I wonder why someone would give you a gift card to a resort in another area? I won a $100 body shop gift card at a conference and sold it on plastic jungle for $70.

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DoNotWait November 26, 2010 at 12:08 pm

That happens to me all the time! I forget gifts cards everywhere or leave them in the wallet and forget them when it’s time… I should not wait to use them but hey! Nobody’s perfect! Despite of that, the amount are most of the time not high enough to cover what I want/need to buy for Holidays nor always in appropriate stores for the kind of shopping that needs to be done.

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:48 pm

DoNotWait, you’re the perfect candidate to resell those suckers!

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Everyday Tips November 26, 2010 at 3:13 pm

After all these years, I finally got smart and immediately started putting all received gift cards right into my purse, next to where my credit cards go. I am currently using cards from who-knows-when that I came across while cleaning out my files. (I had a file called ‘gift cards’. I obviously forgot about it.)

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Kris, I should make a spreadsheet for gift cards. I have spreadsheets for just about everything else!

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Ken @Spruce Up Your Finances November 26, 2010 at 3:46 pm

It’s amazing how this gift cards could stock up and people are unable to use it. Those businesses really are making money for those deferred sale since they can already invest the money without even selling anything yet. Gift card sale is just like getting 0% interest loan for these businesses. Some people may have lost the gift card and may not claim it at all. So this is a big money

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Ken, you’re right that businesses count on a certain amount of non-redemption. That’s why I hate getting rebates in the form of gift or prepaid credit cards.

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Lisa @ Cents To Save November 26, 2010 at 9:29 pm

I like getting gift cards for Christmas. I tell my kids that they can get me gift cards for movie theaters and restaurants. Then… after the holidays… I tend to forget that I have the cards in my purse/wallet. Thank God my husband remembers!! Or else the cards would never be used. Eventually by the end of the year we have managed to use our almost all of our gift cards.

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm

Lisa, I would definitely use them in my wallet; the problem is my wallet has no room to store them until being used. Then I get to the store and regret not having the card!

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Money Reasons November 27, 2010 at 5:15 pm

Wow! $300 dollars worth just lying around! That’s impressive, I had no idea that the average would be that high!

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:52 pm

My husband said the same thing. He’s very good about using them so couldn’t believe people would have so much value laying around!

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youngandthrifty November 27, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Wow! That’s a lot of gift card money.

I think I have about $50 lying around (actually, not lying around, I made a point of it to stick it somewhere where I can see it every day and think about when I can use them so they aren’t just sitting there collecting dust!)

I love the cartoon!

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Kay Lynn November 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm

I wasn’t going to publish anything over the holiday weekend, but changed my mind because the cartoon was so cute AND it was an easy post.

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Little House November 28, 2010 at 3:20 pm

I’m pretty good at using up all of my gift card balances. And those that I do find hanging around or just can’t use, get resold on Ebay. Love the cartoon by the way!

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Kay Lynn November 30, 2010 at 11:49 am

I need to get busy on e-bay. I have several things I want to sell, but somehow never get around to it. Thanks for the reminder!

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jimmy December 1, 2010 at 5:47 pm

makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

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