A gift card is an easy way to get someone a Christmas present. You don’t know the person well enough to know exactly what they would want, but you think you know them well enough to at least pick a store they would like.

Well, if you’re as dumb as me then you can even get that wrong. How was I supposed to know Claire’s jewelry is only for 10-year olds!?

If you have a gift card right now that you wish was cash, there are a few things you can do to fix the situation.

Buy Gift Cards with your Gift Cards

I learned this trick from cashing in credit card rewards. I really wanted Amazon.com gift cards, but my credit card company didn’t offer them. No problem.

I redeemed my points for Best Buy gift cards, and then went to Best Buy and bought Amazon gift cards with them. The cashier looked at me funny (and Tag was super embarrassed) but I didn’t care. I changed something I didn’t want for something I did want, and didn’t have to pay a premium for it.

Buy Presents with your Gift Cards

Maybe you don’t like shopping at Home Depot, but your girlfriend’s dad does. Just hold onto the gift card until his birthday or Father’s Day and use it to get him a new hammer or a bag of sand or whatever else you buy at Home Depot.

Again, this way you can get 100% value out of the card and still use it for something you’d purchase anyway.

Sell Your Unwanted Gift Card Online

If you really don’t want a gift card and you’d rather have cash, you can sell your gift card online.

Avatar Gift Card

photo credit: flickr.com/z0

A quick Google search found Gift Card Granny (not an affiliate link, just a site I think is cool) where you can find a place to sell your gift card to a random internet stranger. The problem with this method is that you’ll have to pay a premium.

For example, you might only be able to sell a $50 gift card for $45. It kinda sucks, but $45 in cash is much better than $50 of crap you don’t want from a store you don’t like.

And speaking of selling these gift cards…

Save Money by Buying Unwanted Gift Cards

I personally would never sell unwanted gift cards for less than face value because I think I can find something I want at that store. However, I’m more than happy to buy unwanted gift cards and save 5-20% on the face value.

I’ve never done it, but in the future I’ll use Gift Card Granny to find a place where I can buy discounted gift cards. If you know you’re going to spend $100 at bestbuy.com, you may as well see if you can buy $100 worth of gift cards for $95. That’s an easy 5% savings.

I’m a freaking internet shopping hacker. And now you can be too.