MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Americans will spend an estimated $ 200 billion on gift cards this year, according to Coresight Research. But a lot of that money is wasted.
Valerie Guerrero is happy to accept them, but admits that it is not always an unforgettable experience and she sometimes forgets to use it.
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“It’s awful. I put it away and then it’s like out of sight, out of mind,” said Guerrero.
It’s a common problem. A new survey by Bankrate found that 51% of adults in the US have unused gift cards, coupons, or credit. The average person sits on $ 116 and often the money is never spent. According to Bankrate.com, 73% of those with unused gift cards, vouchers, or balances have kept them for a year or more.
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“Half of us lost value at some point, either because we lost the card, it expired, or maybe business went off before we could use it,” said Ted Rossman of Bankrate.com.
Experts say there is no reason to leave the value of a gift card unused. There are many websites that offer cash for them. With Raise, CardCash and GiftCash you can sell the card and get around 80-90% of the value. Another option: pass the card on, even if there is a small remainder left.
“You can often add value to it. You know, you might not give your brother the $ 4.17 Home Depot card you have lying around, but if you can round it up to $ 25 or $ 50, “Rossman said.
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Rossman said it was a good idea to use the cards and other credit quickly. Remember that the cards only become a gift when you use them.