LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Every year billions of dollars are spent on gift cards, but new data shows that a big chunk of that money often goes to waste.
People like giving and receiving them, but often don’t use all the money.
A new survey from Bankrate finds close to half of US adults say they have unused gift cards, vouchers, or store credits.
The average American is sitting on $175.
That’s up from $116 last year.
Bankrate’s Ted Rossman says, in many cases, the money is never spent.
There are websites like raise, CardCash, and Gift Cash that allow you to sell the card and receive anywhere from 70 to 90% of the value in cash.
Another option: give the card to someone else, even if there’s a small remainder left.
“You can even reload a lot of these gift cards. So even if you have one of these weird remainders like $6.23, or whatever, you could actually load that up in many cases to a more socially acceptable amount, and then give that as a gift,” said Rossman.
Rossman says when you receive one, it’s important to make a plan to spend it because the cards only become a gift when you use them.