How to make money with unwanted gift cards

Got a bunch of gift cards over the holidays that you know you won't use? The little plastic cards can actually be the best gifts to give yourself.

They're often used as last-minute presents, but gift cards can actually be the best gifts.

Websites like, and buy up unwanted gift-cards. Let's say you want to start the new year right and grandma gives you a $100 Bath and Body Works gift card. You'd rather not smell like Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin for the next year so you sell it to the card pool for $72 in cash.

You may not be getting the full value of the card, but it's better than a gift card you'll never use. 

The real deal is when you buy (instead of sell) from these sites. That's because they take the cards that people trade in and resell them. You can buy some gift cards at a 7-28 percent discount.

You can also buy discounted gift cards at traditional brick and mortar stores such as Costco. For example, there you can get $100 in California Pizza Kitchen gift cards for just $80. 

3 things to remember

1. A gift card can lose 100 percent of your money if you forget to spend it or lose the card.
2. Paying with a gift card doesn't give you the same extended warranties as some credit cards. 
3. Only buy discounted cards for places you know you're going to be doing business with soon.

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