Magazine article Black Enterprise

Don't Let Your Gift Cards Go to Waste: Exchange Websites and New Federal Rules Make Them Easier to Manage

Magazine article Black Enterprise

Don't Let Your Gift Cards Go to Waste: Exchange Websites and New Federal Rules Make Them Easier to Manage

Article excerpt

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AS THE HOLIDAYS APPROACH, many well-meaning relatives will be doling out gift cards--often because they don't know what else to buy. Technology and new Federal Reserve Board rules can make the cards more of a gift and less of a hassle. Many shoppers, like Abbrea Askew, have received their share of gift cards for stores they don't frequent. The 31-year-old stay-at-home mom was looking for a way to get rid of the cards she didn't need. Through a Google search, she learned about GiftCardRescue.com, an online marketplace for selling and buying gift cards. "It works out really well for me," says the Atlanta resident. "I can stock up on the things I need instead of being stuck shopping at certain stores."

Says Gerri Detweiler, a personal finance expert at Credit.com: "The good thing about selling gift cards is the ability to turn your card into something you can use, and most of us can use cash. The bad thing is, of course, that you won't get the full value of the gift card because the company's going to take their cut for helping facilitate the trade."

GiftCardRescue.com pays 65% to 90% of the value, with consumers earning more for popular gift cards such as those for Walmart, or if they choose an Amazon.com shopping credit, says CEO and founder Kwame Kuadey. Other websites for buying and selling gift cards include Plastic Jungle (www. plasticjungle.com), Swapagift.com, UpYourCard.com, and Card Pool (www. cardpool.com).

Kuadey advises consumers to do their homework. "People go to eBay or Craigslist, but the danger with that is you're getting the cards from a stranger," Kuadey says. …

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