Each year a large percentage of Americans purchase a gift card. Although these cards are popular, many people will still go with their balances unused. As a consumer, you want to make good use of your gift card balance. Fortunately, there are now many online sites that allow you to get back your cash.
Checking Your Gift Card Balance is Easy
Online sites provide an easy way for consumers to check their balances online since they provide gift card balance links for thousands of retailers and restaurants. A reputable site will have a gift card balance checker where you need to follow simple directions:
- Identify the brand name of the gift card and select it
- Key in the card’s information on the merchant’s website
- Check the numbers that appear on the back of the gift card and submit these as your PIN
- You can direct your queries to the merchant’s phone number if you are unable to check your balance after following these steps
You can find a convenient and easy way to check your balance either through the merchant’s website online or over the phone. A good site will make sure it verifies the gift card before it is listed in the marketplace. This is to ensure the gift card information is correct and it is a sure way to provide an accurate value.
Why You Should Have a Gift Card
Do you spend on your favorite things and thereafter feel overwhelmed with a feeling of guilt? Well, gift cards are great because you can now spend without having to blame yourself for overspending. However, chances are that you will find yourself in possession of a prepaid card that has a few bucks in it but doesn’t know how to spend it. Another problem is that back cards will not offer alternative payment methods. All these factors might make you feel like these small balances are practically useless.
It is advisable to sell the balance on one of the many sites that will pay you up to 90% of the card’s value. The state you reside in will determine if you can cash out your balance. For those who live in California, they can easily do this because of the State’s law that requires all retails stores to cash out balances that are below $10.00. Check with the State’s policy to know how you are affected.
Numerous Ways Where You Can Make Good Use of Your Balance
Amazon is a great place where you can creatively use your balance. You may buy Amazon gift cards and thereafter transfer these funds to your Amazon account. You will not need to worry about expiration dates as there is none. There is also no limit on expenditure.
There are also various online sites where you can cash out against the card. It provides a smart way for you to pay yourself in an easy and convenient way. However, you should not overuse as this could lead your account to be flagged for fraud.
Stores that accept gift card balances are also useful. You can get a simple Visa card and use the card to withdraw cash from ATM. No transfer fees are allowed.
Another option is to add the balance to your PayPal account and use it to pay at the stores that accept this form of payment. There are many sites today that accept PayPal as a form of payment.
Once you give a child a gift card you will be amazed at how he will appreciate and value it. A child will always be ready to accept whatever gift you give them no matter how small. You will definitely feel better about yourself after doing this.
You need to be extra careful when it comes to signing up for online services in view of the ever-rising cases of fraud. Most of the sites to check card balances will request for sensitive information such as credit card information during the signup process. A trick to this is to test the waters first. Keep in hand a MasterCard that has a few dollars in it and use to sign up. Once you feel confident about the site, you can change it with a real credit card
Spend Your Entire Balance in One Setting
If you save the balance for a long duration you risk losing the card or forgetting about it until the expiration date. It is ok to splurge in this case so you are advised to spend the entire balance in a single setting. You will need to plan early and make a list of the things you want to purchase.
Money experts advise that a person should not be afraid to go a little overboard and spend above the limit of the card. This can be about $10 to $15 above the limit of the card.
Federal laws state that a card should have a shelf life of at least 5 years before it is considered as expired, although some cards will charge a certain fee if a card has been inactive. Yet, you may decide to ignore this rule and set your own expiration date. If you can set the deadline to a month after you receive it, you reduce the chances of going with unused balances.
Various digital platforms such as some free apps and online marketplaces are where you can sell your balance at a discount. After you give your card information you will receive your money in a quick process. Some sites will even offer a reward. You can also use these online marketplaces to buy discounted gift cards.
Digital cards are easy to send and receive an, therefore, you can track your balances in real time. This is the only way you can ensure you use your balances in full. Use the above tips to avoid going by with card balances that are unused at the end of the year.