Nearly half of all Americans sitting on unused gift cards

6 September 2022

MIAMI – Every year billions of dollars are spent on gift cards.

For shoppers, like Mickey Freund, it’s an easy present.

“I have teenage granddaughters and I don’t like to shop, so therefore I use the gift cards,” Freund said.

Even though people like giving them and receiving them, people often don’t use all the money. A survey from Bankrate finds 47% of U.S. adults have unused gift cards, vouchers, or store credits. The average American is sitting on $175, that’s up from $116 last year.

“About a third of people have either let a gift card expire or lost a gift card. A lot of times people are just their own worst enemy, they hold on to these things too long, the store goes out of business” said Ted Rossman, a senior industry analyst at Bankrate.

There are websites like Raise, CardCash, and GiftCash that allow you to sell the card and receive anywhere from 70% – 90% of the value in cash. Another option: give the card to someone else, even if there’s a small remainder left.

“You can even reload a lot of these gift cards. So even if you have one of these weird remainders like $6.23, you could actually load that up in many cases to a more socially acceptable amount, and then give that as a gift,” Rossman said.

Experts say if you receive a gift card it’s important to make a plan to spend it because the cards only become a gift when you use them.

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Author: CBS Minnesota

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