How to make money with unwanted gift cards

Got a bunch of gift cards you don't know what to do with?

Check out how the little plastic cards that are often used as last-minute presents can actually be the best gifts to give yourself!

Here's how

Websites like plasticjungle.com , cardpool.com and giftcardrescue.com buy up unwanted gift-cards. 

Let's say grandma gives you a $100 Bath and Body Works gift card, but you'd rather not smell like Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin for the next year. You can 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 to 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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