Turning those holiday gift cards into cash

There is something you can do if you don't like the cards you get
December 20, 2013 8:53:14 PM PST
Gift cards are a big business. Billions are sold each year, but a whopping 40 percent of those getting gift cards do not use the full amount. If you get a gift card, there is a way to turn it into cash.

Nicole Barragan is no stranger to gift cards.

"I used to work at Texas Children's and that's what they gave us for Christmas," said Barragan.

She even likes giving them to friends.

"I like them because they are really easy to do and people, you don't know what people like and that kind of thing," said Barragan.

But Nicole has also seen the bad side too.

"If you don't use it in a certain amount of time it loses value and I kind of lost out on it," said Barragan.

If you get a gift card this year Leah Napoliello of the Houston BBB says do not let it sit around.

"We urge people to, as soon as you get the gift card or as soon as possible, go out there are buy something," said Barragan.

Leah Napoliello with the Houston BBB says if you have no intention of using a gift card turn it into cash. The cards can fetch close to 90% of face value when you resell them online. Napoliello adds be sure to use gift card selling web sites that you can contact by phone, mail and email in case something goes wrong.

"Make sure you are not just buying from an individual you never heard of maybe advertising on Craig's List, make sure it is a place you can verify that they have good financial records," said Napoliello.

If you are buying cards for someone, look for those without fees like activation fees, inactivity fees and replacement card fees.

There are dozens of gift card selling web sites out there. Check out this link to find the one right for you.

Find Jeff on Facebook at ABC13JeffEhling or on Twitter at @jeffehlingabc13

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