Now, "use your holiday gift card" may sound like a common statement, but there is a reason I'm telling you this. The National Retail Federation released a study that show that only two thirds of gift cards purchased per year, are redeemed. When you consider that an estimated $26.3 billion will be spent on gift cards this year, but $8 billion or more will never be used!
Of course there are different types of gift cards. Those sold by major credit card companies, like Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Retail chains like Best Buy, Home Depot, Apple and CVS all have gift cards. Even restaurants like Chili's and Applebees have gift cards. Starbucks even has a Limited Edition Stainless Steel $450 Card!
As travelers, we often send and receive gift cards. It is an easy and less costly way to gift and you can pick them up at the grocery store. Personally, I appreciate receiving a gift card. Since a traveler's requirements are somewhat unique, a gift card can allow me to purchase the perfect replacement jacket or bag. versus making do with a gift that is too heavy or impractical.
If you get a gift card, the key is to use it as soon as possible. Some cards have expiration dates. If you have no intention of using the card. You may not need a Home Depot card, for example. Don't just let your card go to waste.
There are several online gift card exchange websites that allow you to sell or exchange your unwanted cards.
Gift Card Rescue
Gift Card Granny
Make sure you compare the percentage charged per transaction to get the best deal from these sites.
If you don't know if your card is still valid, or how much credit is left on it, you can
CHECK THE BALANCE HERE
Now for my best super Financial Travel Tip #2 gift card secret: Sometimes American Express will give you an extra $25 to $75 on a $400 gift card. You buy the $400 card and the extra card is sent to you in the mail in a few weeks. Also, if you use your American Express Credit Card to buy the American Express Gift Card, you may get thousands of air miles for FREE.