How To Exchange Your Unwanted Gift Cards At Target

Photo: Ikon Images/REX Shutterstock.
Faced with a choice between receiving a hideous sweater and a generic gift card, we would always take the card. However, if the card is to a store you never frequent, chances are, it will languish away in a drawer just like that ugly sweater. In 2014, an estimated $750 million in gift cards went unused. That certainly makes the deals offered by online gift card exchange companies, like Cardpool, seem somewhat attractive, even though they're not offering you 100% of the card's value. This year, Target is getting in on the trade-in action, which might make you even more likely to spend that gift cash.

At participating Target stores (the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says it's 1,500 out of 1,800 Targets) you can head straight to the "Mobility Kiosk," a.k.a. the mobile phone desk, with your unwanted gift cards. There, an employee in a black T-shirt (this is starting to sound like some kind of black market deal, but that's just 'cause they're actually employed by an outside firm), who will offer you a Target gift card amount based on the resale value of the card. You can check if your current card is one of the 600 participating brands in the exchange, here.

The Star-Tribune points out that the exchange rate at Target appears to be less than the one offered by the online trade-in sites. A Walmart card that might get you $85 at Target is worth $93 on Cardpool. But if what you want is convenience, this might be your best bet. Since you're right there in the store, you'll probably be tempted to spend the entire new gift card on the spot — and Target is probably counting on you spending even more. Still sounds better than those inspirational quote books you got from your favorite aunt last year!
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