Got a stack of unused gift cards you’re sick of keeping track of? Coinstar’s new “Coinstar Exchange” kiosks will give you cash for them.
Coinstar Exchange kiosks—not to be confused with regular Coinstar kiosks—scan your unused gift cards with at least a $ 20 balance on them and make you an “offer.” The offer is typically 60-85% of the balance remaining on your gift card. If you accept the offer, Coinstar will try to verify your identity using your driver’s license and credit card. If all goes well, you’ll get a printed voucher that you can then take to the store’s customer service desk to trade in for cash. Keep in mind that you have to trade in the voucher at the same store that you received the voucher from and on the same day.
Online sites, like Plastic Jungle and Cardpool, might pay better than Coinstar Exchange, but they have some limitations to consider. For example, Plastic Jungle only pays in Amazon gift cards and via PayPal. Cardpool will mail you a check, but the whole process can take up to a couple of weeks. If you want cash and want it fast, Coinstar Exchange is probably your best bet.
They’re still expanding, so hit the link below to see if there are Exchange kiosks near you. And while you’re at it, check out our previous post on giving and receiving gift cards for more gift card tips.
Photo by 401(K) 2012.