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Can You Return Gift Cards: Best Solutions For You In 2022

The longer you hold onto a gift card you aren’t sure of using, the more likely you are to loose it. If you have a gift card you want to trade or better still return, this article carefully answers the question posed in the topic, ‘can you return gift cards?’ while listing possible things you can do with an unwanted gift card.

You may be able to return that gift card for a full refund. A few major retailers give refunds on gift cards, with some constraints and exceptions. Even if your gift card can’t be returned to the store, don’t worry this article proffers a solution.

How Long Should I Keep My Gift Card?

The longer you have a gift card, the more likely you are to waste it by losing it, forgetting you have it or allowing the card’s value to decline due to non-use. Although I’ve heard advice like “use your gift cards within three months” and “a gift card older than two months will never be utilized,” I believe you should evaluate the worth (to you!) of a gift card right away.

As a gift card lover, I rarely receive a gift card that I do not want. Some gift cards need a bit more effort to use than others, but I always find a way. However, there are situations when the entire expense of utilizing a gift card outweighs the advantage.

Here are some reasons why your gift card might overstay with you.

READ ALSO: 10 Places To Buy Gift Card Online With Checking Account

1. Travel Required

It may be difficult to use a gift card to a store or restaurant that isn’t located in your town for reasons like not having the time to go redeem it and distance factor.

2. Shipping Charges

Though redeeming gift cards online is easier to do, some people find a hard time using a gift card online if the cost of shipping and handling is noteworthy. It won’t make much sense to spend $10 off a $25 gift card as a delivery fee.

RECOMMENDED: How To Sell Gift Cards Online In 2022

3. Higher Priced Merchandise 

Another reason why you may hold a gift card for too long is when the value of the gift card can’t cover a single meal or a particular product you intend to buy, then the gift card is more like a coupon.

Can You Return Gift Cards For Cash? Stores that Allow Giftcard Return

There are stores that permit gift card returns. However, you have to meet the requirements and agree to their policies.

If the store sells different kinds of gift cards, the policies for each type may be different. You’ll normally need the original receipt or proof of purchase to return a shop card for a full refund. Refunds are usually made to the purchaser’s credit or debit card. If you received the card as a gift, you should discuss returning it with the person who gave it to you.

Here’s a list of stores that allow gift card returns.

1. Auto Advance Parts

You can return a gift card by mail if there’s no store in your area or there is some reason it can’t be used. Email for more information and you’ll get a response within one business day.

You don’t need a receipt to return the unused physical gift card.

Check the nearest Auto Advance Parts

2. Costco

Costco sells two different types of gift cards, and the rules are different for each. You can use the Costco Cash Card for membership fees and purchases. They also sell packaged third-party gift cards for entertainment or services, like movie tickets or gym memberships. (valium)

Other important details to note.

  • Limit on balance returned:
    • Costco Cash Card: $10 or less may be returned in cash. Balances over $10 are returned only where required by law.
    • Third-party gift cards: No limit
  • Receipt needed:
    • Costco Cash Card: No
    • Third-party gift cards: Yes
  • Refund method:
    • Costco Cash Card: Cash
    • Third-party gift cards: Purchases from a warehouse may be returned at any Costco location. Online purchases may be returned with a printout at a warehouse or through the online return process. We called customer service and found out that if you bought the card, you can receive your purchase price back in the original form of payment. If you received the card as a gift, the refund method depends on the local warehouse policy.

3. Target

Target deals on several different types of cards: Physical Target-branded gift cards, Target Mobile gift cards, Target e-gift cards, Target Visa or Mastercard gift cards, Target American Express gift cards, and packaged third-party gift cards (such as restaurants, gaming, or travel).

Let’s take a look at the rules for each category.

  • Limit on balance returned:
    • Physical Target gift cards: Card must be unused
    • Target Mobile gift cards or e-gift cards: No returns or cash back unless required by law
    • Target Visa or Mastercard gift cards: Card must be unused
    • Target American Express gift cards: Card must be unused
    • Third-Party gift cards: No returns
  • Receipt needed:Yes
  • Refund method:
    • Physical Target gift cards: Your purchase price will be repaid in your original form of payment. If you paid cash, you will receive cash. If you paid with a debit card, the refund will be credited to your card.
    • Target Visa or Mastercard gift cards: You can return your gift card to any Target store within 90 days as long as it is unused, sealed, has all the original packaging, and you have the original receipt.
    • Target American Express gift cards: Another notale refund method is that you can send back your gift card on the same day you bought it, to the same store where you bought it, unopened with all the original packaging, and with the original receipt.

Find the nearest Target

4. Macy’s

You can only return your unused gift card in person at a Macy’s store. Come with your receipt and note that your purchase price will be returned in the original form of payment.

Visit the nearest Macy’s Store

What Can You Do With Unwanted Giftcards?

You can exchange your gift card for cash or even gift a close friend when you know you are unlikely to redeem it in the nearest foreseeable time.

Don’t let the gift card go to waste. Here are a few things you can do with an unwanted gift card:

1. Sell unwanted gift cards for cash

The fasted way to turn a gift card into cash is to sell the card to a gift card exchange site. The amount of money you’ll get will depend on the popularity of the gift card and the amount of merchandise already in stock but could be anywhere from 70 to 92 percent of the gift card’s value.

These sites usually advertise gift cards at a particular rate that they deem favorable to both parties. They also guarantee excellent customer service and fast payment.

You can also find a gift card buyer on social media or through classified ads, however, it is safer to use a reputable gift card site.

SEE ALSO: Top 20 Valentine Gift Ideas For Special Daughter

2. Donate unwanted gift cards

Fundraising committees for schools, churches, organizations, and charities are always in need of gift cards that can be used to purchase supplies, auctioned off at fundraisers, or given away as prizes.

If the gift card you don’t want is raffled off individually or as part of a gift basket, it might raise hundreds of dollars for a good cause. Donations of gift cards to charitable organizations may also be tax-deductible.

READ ALSO: Top 21 Crowdfunding Platforms For All Countries in 2022

3. Make Gift Card Baskets for a Good Cause

Another way you can return gift cards is by putting all your unused gift cards in a basket and donating it to a school or for a cause here they can be sold or raffled off to raise some bucks.

To make the gift basket more attractive, you can add flowers, candies, and other items from the store.

4. Regift unwanted gift cards

If you are finding it difficult to use or return the gift card to the issuer, the best bet is to regift it to someone else.

Here’s an example. Let’s say that someone gives you a gift card to T.J. Maxx, and you don’t know where their store is located, you can regift the card to someone else, who may actually shop there.

By doing this, you end up gifting someone without spending a dime. That’s a win-win!

5. Buy presents with gift cards

If you can’t find anything to buy with your gift card, use it to buy a gift for someone else. With birthdays and celebrations occurring all year, you should be able to locate something that others will like.

I have a friend who keeps a box of chocolates on hand to be given at the revolving door of birthday parties her kids attend. Because she plans ahead, she buys the chocolates with the gift cards and keeps the gift for the merry days.

You may not be using the gift card as intended by the giver, but taking care of an upcoming expense could ease your budget enough to buy something you really want.

SEE ALSO: Top 15 Emotional 18th Birthday Gift Ideas For Your Daughter

6. Buy things to sell with gift cards

Another great way you can utilize the gift cards is by using them to purchase something you can resell.

If you have a gift card to a gaming store, for example, you can buy the latest video game and sell it on an online auction site or social media. If it’s back-to-school season and you know your pal is looking for a specific pair of shoes, go shopping with them. Pay for the shoes using the gift card, and she will give you the money she would have spent on the shoes.

As a good friend, you can sell to your friend at a discount for helping me liquidate the card.

7. Buy things to donate with gift cards

Rather than donating the gift card itself, you can buy something to donate instead. Buy a new bag and school supplies for a foster care organization, for example, if the school year is about to begin.

If you have a sporting goods gift card, consider buying new soccer balls, ping pong paddles, or kick balls to donate to the youth after-school club. If you have a clothing store gift card, buy new clothing items to donate to a women’s shelter. If you’re willing to shop in order to give something away, there should be ample opportunity to do so.

FAQs On Gift Cards

What rules apply to gift cards?

Laws and regulations about gift cards differ based on region. To determine any regulations that apply to you, such as whether to charge tax or for how long a gift card must stay valid, consult a local tax or legal expert.

Can I withdraw or deposit a gift card into my bank account? Visa and Mastercard Gift or Reward Cards can only be used to make purchases. There is no cash access to the funds on the cards via an ATM or bank transaction.

Can gift cards be issued with any initial value?

The highest value of gift card is $9,999.99 USD (or equivalent in your local currency) when issued.

Can I apply a discount to the purchase of a gift card?

It all depends. The majority of discounts cannot be applied to gift cards. The only exception is a product-specific discount on a gift card.

Can I return amazon gift cards?

Amazon does not issue returns for either used or unused gift cards. As such, it is also not liable for lost, damaged, or stolen gift cards, so don’t expect a replacement.


If you don’t use a gift card within the first few months of receiving it, chances are, you simply won’t use it at all. For whatever reason, the gift card doesn’t work for you. Rather than hold onto an unwanted card indefinitely, put the gift card to use in another way. You may get cash back, presents to be given later, or good feelings that you’ll never forget.


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Chukwudumebi Amadi
Chukwudumebi Amadi

What’s up, I’m Dums. I help brands gain visibility through SEO Writing and other applicable Content Marketing Strategies.

My educational background includes a BSc in Mass Communication with a focus on writing for the New Media.

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