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Do you have a couple of gift cards laying around that you’ll never use? Why not get some cash for them or exchange them for cards from a store you actually shop in? Cardpool is here to help. We checked them out so we could give you a full Cardpool review.
Leaving Money on the Table
Or in the back of your junk drawer to be more precise. If you have unused gift cards languishing in a dark drawer, you aren’t alone. Every year, $1 billion in gift cards go unused.
Maybe you forgot you had them or perhaps the card is for a store or restaurant you don’t like. Well, go dig them out! At Cardpool you can sell or exchange unused gift cards. And if you need to buy a gift card, you can do that too and at a discount.
What is Cardpool?
Cardpool is a gift card exchange site. You can sell unwanted gift cards for up to 92% of their value and buy them for as much as 35% off their retail price.
All orders and transactions placed through Cardpool include free shipping via USPS and come with a one-year purchase guarantee.
Selling Gift Cards
At Cardpool you can sell physical gift cards, e-gift cards, and even store credits from dozens of retailers. To see if Cardpool will accept your gift card you can use the search bar on the “Sell Gift Cards” page.
I have a gift card for a local New Orleans restaurant. I doubted that it would be accepted and it wasn’t.
I tried a few chain restaurants like Chili’s and Chipotle and they are accepted. So if you have a gift card from a local retailer or restaurant, you probably won’t be able to sell it at Cardpool, but if you have cards from widely available retailers and restaurants, you are almost sure to find it on their list of eligible cards.
Supported gift cards include those from Athleta, Barnes & Noble, GameStop, Olive Garden, Pottery Barn, Victoria’s Secret, Walmart, Yankee Candle, Zara, and dozens more.
I was curious to see if Cardpool accepted credit card branded gift cards, those pre-paid debit cards with Visa, MasterCard, or American Express logos. You can spend those cards anywhere that accepts credit card brands, but perhaps you need cash. Those cards are not eligible to be sold at Cardpool.
You can sell gift cards with only partial balances so long as the balance is between $25 and $1,000. If you have a $100 gift card and you spent $25 of it, you can sell the remainder.
You can’t sell registered cards, non-transferable, promotional cards, paper cards, cards with dormancy fees or merchandise credits that have expiration dates.
Once you know your card is supported, you will enter the value. If you don’t know the value or remaining balance, you will have to go to the website of the retailer the card is from and check there.
Clicking on the question mark next to “I don’t know the balance” on Cardpool’s site will give you the web address to the page of the card’s retailer’s site where you can check. It’s not a link so you will need to copy and paste it.
There are three ways to cash out when you sell your gift cards with Cardpool. If you are willing to take an Amazon gift card, you will earn 6% more than if you choose the cash option. If you prefer cash, Cardpool will mail you an old-fashioned paper check.
If you need cash in a hurry, Cardpool has a terrific option. Cardpool has partnered with places like check-cashing, grocery, and department stores who will give you cash for your gift cards or another gift card right on the spot.
The partner will make an offer for your gift card, and if you accept it, they hand over the cash or the different gift card you’ve chosen.
You will need to provide the local partner your telephone number, a driver’s license or State ID, a credit or debit card, and your email address.
Why does Cardpool require your debit or credit card number? The card number will be kept on file, and if it’s determined the card was obtained by the seller through illegal or fraudulent means, or if the card has been used after being sold to Cardpool, or if the balance the seller reported was incorrect, the seller’s card on file will be charged.
You can find these locations by going to “Find a Location” and entering your zip code. I found 14 locations within five miles of my zip code. All of them but one were in check cashing stores. The other was located in the electronics department of a local Target.
You can also sell or trade your gift cards at mall kiosks and Coin Star machines, but I didn’t have either of these options available in my zip code. If you do have a kiosk near you, you can exchange your cards there for cash or a Visa-branded gift card.
You will scan or swipe your gift card and see your cash offer. Verify your identity with the same information you would need to sell the card at one of the physical locations. Accept the offer and get the cash from the store that houses the kiosk’s customer service desk or the kiosk will give you the Visa gift card.
Cardpool offers up to 92% of the current value of your gift card although the rate depends on the brand. The more popular a card is, the more money you will be offered. Cards with lower demand will net you a lower offer.
Once the balance on your card has been verified, Cardpool will make you an offer which you are free to accept or decline.
If your card is a physical card, Cardpool will provide you a free shipping label you will use to mail the card in.
If you choose to be paid with an Amazon gift card, Cardpool will first verify the value of the card you’re selling, process it, and issue payment usually within one business day.
If you choose to be paid by check, it will be issued within one business day of receiving your card and will arrive within 5-10 business days by USPS First Class Mail.
Buying Gift Cards
Gift cards are the greatest invention in the world for people who never know what to buy when they need a gift or for people like me who are terrible at wrapping presents.
I especially love gift cards that come in a cute little box. The work is done for me! So I give a lot of gift cards and being a Frugal For Less type of person, I want to get the best deal I can whatever I’m spending money on.
If any of that sounds familiar to you, Cardpool is going to be your one-stop shop for all presents from now on. And you can buy gift cards for yourself too. If you shop at Sam’s Club, for example, you can purchase gift cards at Cardpool for up to 3% off.
That’s better than you get on some cash back credit cards so why not make your grocery bill 3% cheaper?
There are 17 gift card categories including home and garden, restaurants, babies, kids, and toys, books and games, movies and entertainment, and even hotels and travel. Each gift card is discounted from the retail price.
Retailers include Home Depot at 2.5% off, Starbucks at up to 11.5% off, The Children’s Place at 10% off, Barnes & Noble at up to 15% off, AMC Theaters at up to 22% off, and American Airlines at up to 7% off.
You can search by discount amounts. The best discount available when I searched was 34% off for cards for Einstein Bros Bagels in various denominations. That isn’t especially appealing to me, but you can find some real gems.
All Saints is one of my favorite clothing stores, but their stuff is not cheap. I found an All Saints gift card valued at $236.53 with a 20.4% discount and bought it for $188.24.
All of the cards that Cardpool sells have no expiration date, but the card could become useless if the retailer who issued it decide to do away with their gift card program.
Cardpool doesn’t have an endless supply of gift cards. They can only sell to you what customers sell to them. When you’re browsing through the cards on offer, you will sometimes see “Only X Left!” If you see a card you want to buy, pounce on it because there is no guarantee it will still be available if you wait.
Click on the gift card you want to buy, and if there is more than one option available, you will see them all. The options are to buy a physical card or an eGift card and the dollar amount.
I browsed through the cards available for Barnes & Noble. There was no shortage of these. You could buy both physical and eGift cards, most of them offered a 13-15% discount. A $20 card with a 15% discount will cost you $17, and there are no additional taxes, fees, or shipping costs with Cardpool.
The highest value Barnes & Noble card available was for $150 with a 15% discount so you would pay $129.75.
Some gift cards are available as eGift cards, and some are physical cards. If you order an eGift card, you will receive it in about ten minutes. If Cardpool requires additional verification on your order, it can take up to one business day.
Physical gift cards are sent free via First Class Mail and usually arrive within 3-7 business days. Cardpool does warn that this can take longer around the holidays so keep that in mind if you’re planning to buy gift cards near Christmas.
Fortunately, many cards are available as eGift cards, so if you need a gift in a hurry, you can choose one with that option.
Cardpool wants happy customers, so they offer a purchase guarantee on every card they sell. The company guarantees that your card is valid at the store that issued it and for the dollar amount quoted when you bought it. The guarantee is valid for one year from your date of purchase.
If the retailer where you try to use the card disputes the amount available on the card, Cardpool will issue you a refund. The purchase guarantee has a maximum of $1,000 per customer.
You will not receive a refund if the issuer eliminates their gift card program due to bankruptcy, elimination of the gift card program or other causes beyond Cardpool’s control.
Cardpool offers a referral program. You can share the link via email, Facebook, Twitter, or Messenger and for each person you refer who uses Cardpool, you will receive a $5 credit.
Pros of Cardpool
Selling or trading in gift cards that would otherwise go unused is an excellent service. It’s hard to think of those forgotten cards as cash, but that’s what they become when you sell them on Cardpool, and you wouldn’t leave cash in a drawer unused.
Whether you want to buy or sell, Cardpool accepts and offers dozens of choices. The site is easy to use, and you can see what a card you’re selling is worth with no obligation. And you can sell a card even if you’ve used some of its value already.
That you can pretty easily find a nearby location to sell a card is great for people who have gift cards and are in need of cash right away.
Cardpool has a good guarantee program, so if there is a problem with a card you’ve purchased, they will (in most circumstances) refund the amount you paid.
Cons of Cardpool
Not all of the gift cards for sale offer particularly spectacular savings. A lot of them are for about what you can save with a good cash back credit card, 3%.
Cardpool does require that you provide them with a credit or debit card number when you sell a gift card. If there is a problem with your sale, they may charge your card.
I would never give out my debit card in a situation like this, and I don’t advise any of you to give yours out either. Use a credit card. That way if there is an issue and you don’t think you are at fault, you can dispute the charge and let your credit card company fight it out on your behalf.
If Cardpool puts a charge on your debit card, that money is immediately gone from your account and while some banks may dispute it on your behalf, don’t take the chance.
I really love Cardpool. I have gotten super snobby about eating in chain restaurants from years of living in New York City and now New Orleans but well-meaning relatives don’t know that and sometimes give me gift cards for restaurants I don’t eat at.
Until I discovered Cardpool, they were just stuffed in my wallet. But I dug them out and sold them and got about 80% of their face value which I was happy with since it was money I didn’t have before. I chose to be paid with an Amazon gift card so I could get that 6% bump and I had no problems.
The gift card arrived quickly. I also had no problem when I bought the All Saints gift card either. I admit I was nervous because in researching this review, I read reviews from some very unhappy customers who claim they sent in gift cards and never received anything in return.
There is no customer service number if you have a problem. All customer service issues are handled via email and some reviewers wrote that Cardpool’s customer service was either not responsive or not helpful.
I didn’t have any issues so didn’t contact customer service. As I wrote, I did not have any issues either selling or buying gift cards with Cardpool. If you’re nervous but still want to give it a try, sell a low value (although it has to be at least $25) and see how it goes.
Most reviewers who had an issue were selling cards. If you’re still nervous about buying a card, again buy a low-value card to start and use a credit card, not your debit card. That way you can dispute the charge if you have a problem.
Based on my own experience though, I do recommend Cardpool.
What Are Some Other Ways To Make Money Online
Aside from selling gift cards online in order to make some extra cash, there are plenty of other ways to do so. Here’s a short list of some of our favorite methods. Keep in mind that they’re all 100% free to join and use.
- Registration Bonus: 25 points
- Join Survey Junkie
Survey Junkie hands down is one of the best survey sites on the web. You can make anywhere between $10 – $15 per hour provided that you stick to higher-paying surveys.
While they do have low-paying surveys as well, as long as you avoid them you should be earning at a great rate. Not only that, but you also get a 25-point bonus just for registering as a new user.
In order to maximize your earnings, we suggest logging-in once daily and taking at least one survey, even if it isn’t high-paying. This is because Survey Junkie likes to reward frequent survey-takers.
- Registration Bonus: $2
- Join Vindale Research
Vindale Research is another great survey site. You get a $2 bonus just for registering as a new user. While you shouldn’t be able to make as much as Survey Junkie, they’re definitely right up there. You can still make a decent $10+/hour.
One thing I like about Vindale Research compared to other survey sites is that you should never run out of surveys to take. In fact, even some surveys you can take more than once per day. This is definitely one survey site you want to check out.
- Registration Bonus: $10 when you register and scan your first receipt
- Join Ibotta
Ibotta has been around for a few years now and is one of the most popular receipt-scanning apps out there. Ibotta pays you to take a picture of your receipt from grocery stores, restaurants, pharmacies, convenience stores and almost any other place you can think of.
When you open the app, simply select the offer that you want to claim with the product on your receipt and earn anywhere between $.25 cents and $5 per product. You can even claim more than one offer per receipt.
When you sign-up as a new user, you get a $10 bonus after claiming your first offer.
Cardpool is a great way to earn some extra money online as well as save some money by buying discount gift cards. If you have any other methods or questions regarding Cardpool, we’d love to hear it down below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!