Gift cards

They have new websites and applications that allow you to leverage the value of gift cards emerged. Many of us do not take advantage of gift cards we received. Gift cards can be forgotten easily and often placed in wallets or in drawers and are not used.

In fact, about 1,700 million dollars in 2012 purchased 110,000 million in gift cards have not been used, according to estimates by research firm Tower Group GEB.

If you are not satisfied with the store where you can use your gift card, do not waste that money. There are several options, for example, exchange it for cash or invest in airline miles. However, I suggest that the first thing you have to do is register your card on the website of the company that issues it. To inscribe, you are creating a record about the amount of money in your card and that will provide protection in the event that you lose.

Many companies, including Starbucks, offer the opportunity to enroll gift cards. Suffice to consult the website of the card provider to see if this service is available.

There are applications for mobile devices that can serve as a reminder of your gift card. For example, the application Gyft alert you even when you’re near a store where you can spend the contents of your card because it stores information for electronic gift cards and plastic.

Then I suggest some ways to use your gift card

1- Cash.

If you have a gift card that you do not want, visit websites PlasticJungle.com, GiftCards.com and CardPool.com, which will pay up to 92 percent of the value of the card depending on the ease with which you can resell . For example, a gift card from Target store with $ 100 deposit, the three companies pay you $ 92.

Depending on the store where you can buy with the gift card, you may have to send the plastic card by mail, but often just enroll the card number on the website. Then you pay by check or through PayPal system. You need to have at least a balance of $ 25 on the card to sell to PlasticJungle.com and CardPool.com. In GiftCards.com enough to have $ 20.

People living in Phoenix, Chicago or Columbus, Ohio, can get cash in Alula, a new team in supermarkets that the company Coinstar Inc. is testing. That company is operating the DVD rental machines Red Box. Alula pay between 65 and 85 percent of the value of the gift card depending on demand. That team only accepts plastic cards that can be inserted inside. The balance must be at least $ 20.

The machine will print a receipt whose value can get cash in one of the cash registers of the place.

2- You can use the card elsewhere.

Although the cards have the specific name of a shop in the front, maybe you can use in other shops in the parent company. For example, a gift card to Old Navy can be used in the Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and Piperline shops. The latter is the cyber shop parent company. In addition, TJX Cos cards can be used at TJ Maxx, Home Goods or Mashalls.

3- airline miles.

The balance on a gift card can get closer to the vacation of your dreams. United Airlines customers who are enrolled in its Mileage Plus program can redeem gift cards for miles on the website of the airline. For example, a card with a value of $ 25 is equivalent to a premium of 1.000 miles. United Airlines accepts gift cards from over 100 stores, but the cards have to have a balance of at least $ 15 for them to be accepted.

4- donate it to the needy.

Many charitable organizations such as Goodwill, accept gift cards and distribute them to people in need. Call the charity organization more sympathetic to see if you have a gift card program.

5- Replace with another card.

Gift cards can be changed for use in other stores. In PlasticJungle.com you can quickly turn your plastic card into an electronic to buy on Amazon.com. PlasticJungle.com charges you less if you want to make the change. Although that cyber website pays you $ 92 a Target gift card with a balance of $ 100, will give you $ 94.50 if you decide to turn it into an electronic card to buy on Amazon.com.

6- Use it as a gift.

You can always give that card to someone who values ​​more. That way you get rid of the card that you do not like and do not have to buy a gift. The Gyft application that lets you store gift cards on your smartphone, also allows you to give your cards. Those who receive that gift do not have to have the Gyft application on their computers. It’s easy, the gift card can be sent by mail or deposit it in an account of Facebook.