As gift-giving gets harder, gift cards are all the rage. But even with a card, gift-givers can stumble… which explains how your aunt could hand you $25 to Hot Topic. Fear not, recipient of Twilight shirts and imitation Vans: A gift card isn’t set in stone.
Exchange Your Cards
Keeping just such ill-advised gift cards in mind, websites such as Plastic Jungle, Cardpool, CardWoo, and Giftcards offer exchanges (for even more sites, CLICK HERE). Unsatisfied recipients (that’s you) can trade in their cards for cash, a Paypal deposit, or a preferable gift card in the site’s inventory. Remember, though, that these exchanges aren’t simply displays of Christmas spirit—they’re meant to make money for the sites, and you’ll therefore operate at a loss. So it’s really up to you: More money at a store you hate, or less at one you love?
It’s Never—OK, Rarely—Too Late
If your issue isn’t so much that you hate the gift card you were given, and instead that you stuff the cards in a pocket and forget about them, Lifehacker has a handy guide on how to make sure they’re used, and what to do when you’ve procrastinated too long. It turns out that different states have different laws when it comes to gift card expiration—in some states, they can’t expire at all. It may sound like a hassle to hunt down your gift cards, but remember: A gift card is money, and it’s up to you to make the most of it.