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How to make money from gift cards

Jasmine Birtles 14th Jun 2021 2 Comments

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Do you have a gift card or two that you think you might not use? You could make money now by selling it online.

You could make even more money by buying and selling other people’s gift cards…although it can be a tad risky. Find out how here.


Why should you sell your gift cards?

Did you know that around 20% of gift cards are never used? What a waste of money!

According to gift card re-seller platform, Cardyard, the UK’s general public may have thrown away nearly £500 million in unspent gift cards last year. That’s like throwing away huge bundles of £50s!

Much of the time we waste gift cards because they run out before we can use them. Around 6% of all gift cards are wasted every year through loss or expiry, which averages out to over £15 for every working-age adult.

This year it’s been harder to use some gift cards because so many places have been closed.

Now, as the UK opens up again (gradually), many people will have a gift card or two languishing away in their wallets.

If you do, we recommend that you spend them as quickly as possible – even if it’s to buy a gift for someone else later on – as we don’t know if all the shops will continue to stay in business. We have already seen a few big names fall by the wayside. Who knows which one will be next?

However, another way to get the most from your gift cards is to sell them to other people for cash. You might not get the full amount back but at least it’s cash in your pocket that you can use where you like, whether it be on a nice meal out or wall photos.

So, here are MoneyMagpie’s top tips for flipping or reselling your gift cards.
How to make money from gift cards

where and how to resell your gift cards

One way of making some extra cash on unused cards is using reselling platforms. Here are sites we have found, but make sure to do your research before committing.


Cardyard is a good place to sell or swap your gift cards. Actually, swapping can be a really good way to get the most from your gift card. If you have a £20 voucher for Monsoon that you don’t want but someone else has a £20 voucher for John Lewis that they don’t want, you could swap and both get £20 for something you really want.

However, if you don’t see a gift card you’d like to swap, then get some cash in your pocket by selling your card.

Cardyard will resell gift cards with a minimum of 3 months left until expiry. Actually, many good retailers will offer to extend the life of a gift card if you haven’t been able to spend them because of COVID, so even if your gift card has an expiry date this year, you could get it extended first and let buyers know that they will have time to spend it.

Even if your gift card has been partly used, you could still sell it on the platform.

how to use cardyard

  1. Put your card details in the calculator at the bottom of the home page.
  2. Add in the shop/restaurant, the value, whether it’s an e-voucher or paper
  3. See how much you could get for selling it for cash or getting a credit. You will usually get more for credit, of course, but then you need to remember to use that later to buy someone else’s card!
  4. If you’re happy with the amount (for cash or for credit) then accept it and put your card in the post (or email it to them if it’s an e-voucher).

Cardyard is also handy for buying gift cards at a discount.

Take a look at their ‘Buy Gift Cards’ section and you will see gift cards for Argos, MAC, Uber and more.

You could either buy some of these for yourself, giving yourself an instant discount when you spend them, or buy them as gifts for others, making yourself look more generous than you are!


Other places to sell your gift cards

You don’t need to stick to a gift card selling platform. You can also use the usual reselling platforms to make money from your gift card:

  • Facebook marketplace
  • Gumtree
  • eBay
  • Schpock

…are all good places to sell your gift card. With these you would be selling direct to the public, of course, so you may have to wait a while to get a sale.

Also you will have to go to the extra effort of verifying what’s being sold is real if you’re buying, to cover your back for any losses or potential scams.

One really handy aspect of selling giftcards on these platforms, though, is that you have minimal postage costs so you can make a big deal about offering free postage!

You could also sell gifts you get from credit card rewards, codes through loyalty schemes or cash back rewards.

How to make money from gift cards

Gift card flipping

If you have the time, you could make regular money by gift card flipping.

Gift card flipping works similarly to the flipping of other products:

  1. You buy something for less than its face value
  2. Then you make a profit during the reselling of it.

If you drive a hard bargain you could potentially buy a £50 gift card for one shop at £40, then resell it on for £45. This would mean £5 profit for you.

If the seller was given the gift card for free they would pocket the full £40.

The challenge in the first place is hunting for discounted or free cards, which could be in a number of places. Get onto eBay, Facebook Groups, Gumtree and the others mentioned above and scour them daily for gift cards. Offer the sellers a cut-down rate for their cards. Offering to buy your friends’ gift cards at a discounted rate could also be a good option if you’re looking for a deal. Some of them will go for it just for a quick sale, then you can sell them for more either at Cardyard or on one of the other reselling sites.

tips for making the most of gift card selling services

Like anything, there are some pitfalls to buying and selling gift cards, so here are the ways you can make a profit in relative safety:

  1. Use gift cards quickly
  2. Check the expiry date. Some gift cards are surprisingly short-lived.
  3. Avoid getting scammed: Never give out gift card information over the phone to someone claiming to be with the police, a utility company, the government or any other third party. These agencies do not accept payment via gift card
  4. Store your cards in a secure place, Remember they are effectively money.
  5. Until you’re ready to use the card, leave the scratch-off material on the PIN number on the back of the card
  6. Use services that verify the balance of a gift card before selling it
  7. Use gift card exchanges with buyer guarantees that are in effect even after you receive your card
  8. Read the fine print. Make sure gift cards don’t have any extraneous fees


Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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2 years ago

Interesting article.

2 years ago

An interesting article.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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