Recycling Gift Cards for Cash

Unhappy with a gift card? Trade it in for cash or something more useful

By Sarah Grieco
|  Monday, Dec 26, 2011  |  Updated 1:56 PM PDT
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Now that Christmas is over, many people are lining their wallets with one of the most popular presents this year: Gift cards.

The National Retail Federation found that roughly 80 percent of shoppers would buy gift cards this holiday season, with consumers spending a total of $27.8 billion.

But not everyone is happy with this particular present – which is when websites such as Plastic Jungle and Gift Card Castle come in handy.

Gift card exchange sites can make it easy for the disgruntled gift receiver to trade in their unwanted cards for cash, or swap it out for another store.

It works like this: Users can log on to the sites, enter their gift card information for verification, and then receive up to 92 percent of the value for their card.

This way the gift cards might be used – experts predict that each year billions of dollars is wasted on unused gift cards.
   
As with any online transaction, watch out for scams. A few sites that are particularly reliable are Amazon, Plastic Jungle, Gift Card Castle and Card Hub.

Are you trading in any gift cards this year? Tell us in the comments below, find us on Facebook or mention us on Twitter @nbcsandiego.

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