Gift cards make excellent gifts, which is why so many are bought every year. And, nine times out of ten, many of us have a few lying around that we’ve either never used or have a balance on. What may jolt us out of our complacency is a notice on the nightly news that our favorite retailer is going out of business. Panic sets in. What happens to all of your unused gift cards now?
Following is some advice on what to do when you learn that the retailers who issued your unused gift cards have declared bankruptcy.
Use as Soon as Possible: Unused gift cards are like found cash. As soon as you learn that a retailer you have a gift card with has declared bankruptcy or is on the verge of bankruptcy, immediately go and use it.
Unused Gift Cards Shopping Tip: Buy something you really need or want, but haven’t budgeted for. This way, it’s like getting it for free. For example, if you’ve been meaning to replace that deadbolt lock (home improvement gift card) or buy a heavier winter coat (clothing store gift card), now’s the perfect time to do it.
And, the best part? You will probably get it for much less because the store is in bankruptcy (ie, going out of business sales).
How to Prevent Unused Gift Cards from Becoming Worthless
Unused gift cards are usually due to a number of things. Two of the main reasons though are because they are from places where you don’t shop, or for things that you don’t want. If this rings true for you, following is how to prevent your unused gift cards from becoming worthless.
Trade Your Unused Gift Cards: Didn’t know you could do this? Well, you can. There are online merchants who allow you to trade your unused gift cards for cash.
Sell Your Unused Gift Cards: Many times, unused gift cards languish because they are from retailers you never frequent. If you’ve received a gift card to a store where you never shop, and you’d rather have the cash, you can sell it. There are online gift card sellers who will turn your unused gift cards into cash.
Unused gift cards no longer have to languish in the bottom of your dresser drawer. You can literally turn them into cash.