10 Ways to Convert Visa Gift Cards to Cash

To help others relate when looking for ways to turn their gift cards into money.

Perhaps you have received a Visa gift card as part of a promotion.  Maybe you are registered on Swagbucks.com and redeemed the Swagbucks you earned for watching videos, taking surveys, playing games, and shopping online for a Visa gift card. Alternatively, you may have received your Visa gift card from your dear Aunt Thelma for your recent birthday when what you really needed was cold, hard cash to help you meet a financial goal you had set for yourself. Perhaps you wanted to pay down some debt, add to your emergency fund, or increase your retirement savings.  Unfortunately, you cannot simply insert the gift card into an ATM to get the cash you desire.  A Visa gift card is different from a Visa prepaid card, which is reloadable and can be used to get cash at an ATM. Nevertheless, there are multiple ways to convert that gift card to cash. Ten of these are discussed below:

1. Upload the Card to Your PayPal Account

If you have a PayPal account, you can add the card to your PayPal Wallet.  Simply click on the “Wallet” tab at the top of the screen after logging in and follow the directions.  You can then transfer the balance to your PayPal-linked bank account.  PayPal does not charge a fee for a standard transfer, which generally takes one business day (although it could take as many as five business days, so you should keep that in mind). If you need the money faster, you can opt to do an “instant transfer,” and PayPal charges a fee for that. Some banks also charge a fee for transfers, so check with your financial institution to determine exactly what the transfer will cost you.

If you do not have a PayPal account, consider asking a trusted friend or family member to upload the card to his or her account, giving you the cash for it.

2. Upload the Card to Your Venmo Account

Venmo is a PayPal-owned app that facilitates the transfer of money among friends and businesses.  As with PayPal, you can upload your gift card to the app and then transfer the funds to your linked bank account.  Like PayPal, Venmo does not charge a transfer fee for a standard transfer, but charges 1% for an instant transfer.

3. Use the Card to Purchase a Money Order

Your Visa gift card can be used to buy a money order at Walmart and a number of grocery stores.  You will be charged a small fee for it.  Walmart currently charges $0.88 per money order, which is really cheap.  You will have to have created a PIN for your gift card in advance so that it can be used as a debit card since Walmart accepts only cash or debit cards for the purchase of a money order. You can then take the money order to your bank and deposit the funds into your account.  Be aware that some banks have been known to close an account that has too many money order deposits in order to prevent money laundering, so this is probably not an option you want to use too frequently.

4. Apply It Toward a Regular Monthly Bill

Insurance, cable, and many other companies that bill you monthly accept credit cards as a method of payment.  Instead of writing a check, pay the bill with your gift card.  You can then allocate the extra money in your checking account toward your financial goal.

5. Use It to Buy Groceries

Pay for your groceries using your Visa gift card and use the extra cash you will then have to meet your financial target.

6. Gift It to Someone Else

A friend or family member may be having a giftable celebration—a birthday, wedding, anniversary, retirement, etc.—in which case you can give the Visa card to them, again using the cash you would have spent on an alternative gift for whatever else you want.

7. Sell It on eBay or Craigslist

       You can sell your Visa gift card to buyers on eBay or Craigslist.  You will have to sell it at a discount, however.  If the balance on your card is $50, you will have to list it for some lesser amount, like $40.  Otherwise, there is no real reason a stranger would opt to buy it from you when he or she could just as easily purchase one from an online or brick-and-mortar store with an established reputation.

8. Sell It to a Reseller Website

There are a number of websites that are in the business of buying and selling gift cards, such as Prepaid2Cash.com and GiftCardBin.com.  Prepaid2Cash says it will pay up to 92% of the value of your card.  You begin by scanning your card and uploading it to the website. Once it verifies the balance on your card, PrePaid2Cash will present you with an offer that you are free to accept or reject. No commitment. There is a 15% processing fee if you want an instant transfer to your bank account, which can take less than 15 minutes, as well as a $1.50 delivery fee.  If you do not mind waiting for next day transfer, the processing fee is cut in half to 7.5%, but the delivery fee remains at $1.50. GiftCardBin no longer purchases gift cards on line for resale, but you can determine a GiftCardBin partner’s location that is close to you by entering your zip code and exchange your card for cash there.

9. Sell It to a Friend or Family Member

The fees charged by reseller websites can be expensive, and you may have to offer a substantial discount to attract buyers when offering your gift card for sale on eBay or Craigslist. Another option is to sell your gift card to someone you know—a friend or family member. This can be a win-win situation. If you have a $50 gift card, you might sell it to them for $45. They then have $50 worth of purchasing power for $45, and you have $45 in cash to apply to your financial goal.

10. Use It to Purchase Items on Sale for Resale

This is undoubtedly the most time-consuming of all the methods listed above, but it is also one that can enable you to earn a profit.  Use your Visa gift card to purchase an item when it is on a big sale. Then resell it at close to its regular price. For example, you might find a kid’s electric scooter that normally retails for $100 on sale for $50. You can use your $50 Visa gift card to purchase it and then list it for sale on eBay, Craigslist, or a similar platform for $80.  This is another win-win scenario.  You end up with $80, instead of $50, and your buyer gets to purchase the scooter at a 20% discount.

While this article is specific to Visa gift cards, most of these methods can also be used to convert other gift cards, such as specific retailer gift cards, to cash as well.  This said, there are options available for converting these other gift cards to cash that are not available for Visa gift cards.  For example, neither Visa nor Mastercard gift cards are accepted at the gift card exchange kiosks that you can find in some shopping malls and supermarkets, and some of the website resellers do not purchase Visa gift cards for resale. 

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