How to Use a Gift Card Exchange Kiosk to Get Cash Fast

Gift cards make an easy and convenient gift, and they give the receiver the option to get what they like most from a particular store. If you have ever received a gift card to a store you do not frequent, you may be left wondering what to do with it.

In this article, I am going to talk about how to use a gift card exchange kiosk to get cash. There are many options for you to repurpose any of your unused and unwanted gift cards. You can get cash for your card or even give it away. 

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What Is A Gift Card Exchange Kiosk?

Put simply, a gift card exchange kiosk is a place to hand over unused gift cards in exchange for cash. The kiosk itself is similar to a photo booth, DVD rental kiosk, and an ATM.

In most cases, it is a self-service booth. There are many places where you can find a gift card exchange kiosk, and I am going to be covering some options. 

When you opt to hand over some of your unused gift cards, you receive a portion of the remaining monetary value on the card in cash. The redeemable percentage varies depending on the service.

As a general rule, you might be looking at somewhere in the range of 60-85% cashback. If you’re lucky and find the right buyer, you could even get 90% or more of the value of the gift card back.

Want to sell your gift cards for quick cash? This is my favorite place to sell unwanted gift cards.

How to Use a Gift Card Exchange Kiosk

Gift card exchange kiosks come in different shapes and sizes, but there are some general things you have to know and do if you are going to use them. The first thing is to locate one, and you can take a look at the next section to find the nearest location for you. 

Once you have found a gift card exchange kiosk and have your unwanted gift cards on hand, you can navigate the self-service platform and follow the prompts. In most cases, these kiosks are user-friendly and intuitive. 

Before you attempt to redeem your gift card, it’s a good idea to check the remaining balance. Doing this first can save you the trip to the grocery store if you discover that you used up a gift card and had forgotten about that. Once you know that you have a balance on your gift card, you can proceed to the kiosk.

At the gift card exchange kiosk, the first thing you have to do, depending on the setup, is likely to be entering the gift card information into the systems. Your gift card number is printed or embossed somewhere on the card for easy reference.

Some gift codes can be swiped or scanned at the bar code. Once the system has received your card information, it processes it to see the balance and the cashback offer.

The next step is for you to receive the cashback offer on the kiosk display. Usually, the display shows the value left on your gift card, the name of the store, and then the cash offer. As an example, you might see the following information somewhere on the screen:  

  • Best Buy
  • Balance $25
  • Card ending in xxx
  • Our cash offer $16.25

The information displayed varies with each gift card exchange kiosk service, but once you have received the cashback offer information, you have the option to accept or decline it.

If you are unhappy with the cash amount noted, you can simply decline the offer and get your card back if you had submitted it. If the cash offer sounds good to you, you click the option to accept the offer.

From there, the kiosk typically prints out a voucher for you with the cash offer amount. You can take the voucher to the cashier in the store to get your money in cash. 

Related: Ways to Turn Your Visa Gift Cards into Cash

Online Gift Card Exchanges

If you have an unused gift card that you want to sell for cash, I recommend trying some of the online gift card exchange websites. This option could work out more conveniently and more lucrative than visiting a physical kiosk, depending on the cash offer you get. 

Here are a few of the websites where you can exchange your gift cards for some cash.

Gift Card Granny

Gift Card Granny is an online platform for you to sell and buy e-gift cards at a discounted price. On the website, you can search and compare gift cards available on many different gift card websites. 

CardCash

CardCash is another online gift card marketplace for buyers and sellers looking for discounted prices.

Raise

On the Raise online platform, you can sell your new and used gift cards for a fixed price.

Gift Card Auction Sites

If you are willing to go the auction route, a number of websites allow you to sell your unwanted gift card through an auction system. This means that you can let interested buyers bid for your gift card.

Once the bid amount is accessible to you, you can accept it and get cash for your unwanted gift card. If you choose the auction route, you should note that the final price is not guaranteed and the process might take longer than other gift card selling websites.

Places with Gift Card Exchange Kiosks

There are many places where you can take your unused gift cards to redeem them for cash. Most of these places are pharmacies and grocery stores, making it very easy and convenient for you to visit the gift card exchange kiosk while you are out doing your grocery shopping.

Here are some places where you can find a gift card exchange kiosk. Be sure to make sure that the store nearest you participates in the program because this could also vary by location. 

Walgreens

The next time you visit your nearby Walgreens pharmacy, you can also make use of the gift card exchange kiosk located inside or right outside the store.

Target

You can find a gift card exchange kiosk at most Target stores. Be sure to ask if there is one at your nearest Target store location.

Walmart

Walmart stores are found nationwide, and if you’re lucky, there’s one not too far from where you love. You can exchange your gift cards for cash at a kiosk in one of their locations. 

Coinstar

Coinstar is an international company that allows people in various countries to turn their coins and gift cards into vouchers to spend. The self-service kiosks are conveniently located to allow you to get some spending money whenever you need it from what you have on hand. 

There are numerous Coinstar kiosks in thousands of locations all over the country. When you redeem a gift card, you can choose between three options—cash, an e-gift card, and a charity donation.

Kroger

If you are in a state with a Kroger grocery store, you can see if the location nearest you has a Coinstar gift card exchange kiosk. 

Giant

Giant groceries stores are another location where you can find a Coinstar gift card exchange kiosk. 

Safeway

You can exchange your gift cards for cash at a Safeway grocery Coinstar kiosk.

CVS

If you prefer a CVS pharmacy, you can also make use of the gift card exchange kiosk located at your nearest location.

There may be many other locations where you can take your gift cards to exchange them for a cash amount. Many big change grocery stores have a gift card exchange kiosk, but you can also try at some smaller stores and locations in your area. 


What Can You Do with Unwanted Gift Cards?

Giving a gift card is one of the easiest and most convenient gift ideas out there. I have found that giving a gift card instead of a physical gift could be the best thing to do in many situations.

Many people are on the fence about gift cards because they can seem impersonal and low effort. If you know the person celebrating well and have an idea of what a great gift might be, then buy them something physical where possible. 

There are many situations when a gift card makes a great choice. Some gift cards are the equivalent of giving cash, but with store-specific gift cards, there is a personal touch.

You might consider a gift card to a bookstore like Barnes and Noble if you are celebrating the birthday or graduation of a bookworm. If you know your friend needs to take care of herself more, a spa day gift card might be the perfect gift. 

You could also give a couple a gift card to their favorite restaurant on a special occasion. When you are in a different city or state from someone you care about, a gift card is an excellent way to show them that you are thinking of them even though you are apart physically.  

It’s very often for gift cards to go unused for long periods. There could be various reasons for this. Most gift cards don’t have immediate expiration dates, so they can go unused and forgotten for months on end.

For store-specific gift cards, you might not want anything from the specific store. In some cases, you might be saving that specific gift card for a special occasion, but very often that does not come, or you forget all about it. 

If you find yourself with a number of gift cards that you have never used or have no intention of using, it could be time to consider getting rid of them. It could be time to finally visit that store and claim your gift.

If you have decided that you are not going to use the gift card for yourself, there are a few ways for you to handle these unwanted gift cards.

Gift Them to Others

While you might not have a need for a particular gift card, there are probably several people in your own circle that might be thrilled to have it. One of the best things about gift cards is that there are impersonal and can be easily re-gifted.

If someone you know is celebrating a birthday, graduation, or any other special occasion soon, you can give them one of your unused gift cards. Put it in a nice envelope with a card, and make their day special. 

If you don’t know anyone celebrating soon, a gift card can make a great, random gift to a friend, acquaintance, or stranger. Random acts of kindness can make someone’s day, and you’re sure to feel good yourself.

Use a Gift Card Exchange Service to Get Cash

In this article, I have focused mainly on how you can exchange your unused gift cards for cash. You can visit a physical or online gift card exchange location and redeem a large proportion of the card value in cash.

When you need cash fast and have some gift cards lying around, this can be a great option for you.

Sell to or Swap the Card with Someone You Know

This option is a different take on the gift card exchange kiosk idea. While that is a convenient and accessible option, you might not receive as much cash as you might have hoped.

The service provider keeps a percentage of the value of the card. If you want to retain more of the value amount and know someone who might be interested in using your gift card, you can sell it or swap it with them.

You could get away with giving them a small discount on the card value for taking it off you.

Buy and Sell the Items

If you have a knack for spotting deals and buying and selling, then you might want to try this option. You can use the unwanted gift card to buy some sale items from a specific store.

You can then sell the items for a profit and for cash. There are various places to sell goods, including markets, fairs, and garage sales.

You can also sell the goods online on sites like eBay. Many people make a lot of money by buying and selling sales items.

Donate the Gift Card to Charity

If you aren’t in need of the cash on the gift card, consider giving it to charity. This is almost the same as making a cash donation.

The charity can then go on to decide how best to use the gift card, based on their current needs. 

There are lots of other creative ways to make use of a gift card that you don’t want. You can even form groups for people in your circle and community to exchange unwanted gift cards.

While you are pursuing any of these options, the most important thing you have to do is check the gift card expiration date to ensure that you do not lose all the value before you have put it to good use. 

If your gift card is not expiring any time soon, you might want to wait a little longer until you find the best way to make use of it.

Maybe you know someone with a birthday in a couple of months. You could wait until then to re-gift the card.

You might have a gift card for a baby or toy store. In this case, you can always wait until you know someone having a baby shower soon. 

Gift Card Exchange Kiosk Options

Having a gift card that you don’t intend to use is like having cash tied up. You can redeem all your gift cards at a gift card exchange for a percentage of the monetary value.

These easy-to-use kiosks or booths are conveniently located at many frequented locations such as grocery stores like Walmart and pharmacies like CVS. The kiosks are self-service, and you receive a voucher when you sell your gift card.

If you prefer to sell your gift card online, many websites allow you to do this. There are other ways to make use of an unused gift card besides selling it for cash.

You can always re-gift it, buy things to sell with it, or give it away to charity. If you do decide to use a gift card exchange kiosk, it’s important to know the value of the card and the offer amount before you accept. 

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Steffa Mantilla

Certified Financial Education Instructor

Steffa is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI) and the founder behind Money Tamer. Her 12-year background in operant conditioning and positive behavioral change training is used to help people find effective motivators to change their harmful money behaviors. Steffa explains the reasons “why” behind people’s financial behaviors and how to successfully change them. After paying off over $80,000 in debt through budgeting, she now teaches families how to get their own finances in order. You can learn more about her here.

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