In the spirit of an Easter egg hunt this weekend, how about hunting for old gift cards?
Forgotten gift cards are hidden money just waiting to be found and cashed. Your cards are probably hidden away in those safe, little places throughout your home that, at the time, you thought you would always remember. Gift cards are ubiquitous these days as they are very easy to give. You may actually be surprised by how much value you have.
As if looking for Easter eggs, search your home for gift cards. When you find them, put the cards into three piles. Each pile is for a category the cards generally fit into. There are the ones you will definitely use. The ones you could stretch out of your routine a bit and use. And the ones for places you never go to and have no interest in going to.
For the cards you will definitely use, find a place where they will be easy to see. When you see them, you remember them. For example, I put my Peet’s Coffee card in the car. Each time I get in the car, I see it and think, “Will I be near a Peet’s”?
For cards to places not in your normal routine, you will need to do a little planning or researching. Think of an item you buy at a similar store and buy it with your gift card instead. Go online to that store and see if there is something you could use. If you can’t find something to spend it on, then place the card in the third pile.
The final type of cards are ones you will never use. Don’t throw them away because they are money after all. One solution is to re-gift them to someone who will use them. Another solution is to trade them into a website. CardCash.com is the industry leader, but Amazon and Ebay also offer trade-ins. You won’t get back the total value on your card, but 80% is better than nothing.
For egg hunt like fun, find your old gift cards and hatch their value.
I can be reached on Twitter. @iammrmarshall