Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosks used to offer a great way to sell your gift cards for instant cash, with locations all over the world.
However, they’ve now switched to a model focusing on cashing in pennies (and other coins) for gift cards, like an Amazon cash voucher, rather than the other way around where you could exchange a gift card from Amazon to cash.
This means that if you’ve been madly Googling for a “gift card exchange kiosk near me”, Coinstar won’t work anymore. Fortunately, we’ve found some great alternatives for you to exchange those unwanted gift cards for cash – including some options to sell your gift cards online electronically instantly!
Can you exchange gift cards for cash at Coinstar?
Not, not anymore. Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosks used to offer a way for you to exchange gift cards for cash. However, they’ve now replaced their gift card exchange kiosks, reportedly due to the high cost of renting floor space from stores for these.
Before, if, say, you wanted to exchange an Amazon gift card for cash because you don’t like shopping on Amazon or because it was expiring, you could just find a Coinstar gift card exchange kiosk near you and turn that credit from Amazon to cash.
That’s not the case anymore though. This means that, for now, Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosks have become:
- Places where you can deposit coins, including serving as a coin counting machine. This is then exchanged for a gift card (including from Amazon) or a charity donation
- A way to exchange coins for notes
- Coinstar bitcoin sellers, in that you can exchange cash for bitcoins
- An Amazon coin machine, in that you can get an Amazon cash voucher by using cash to add to your Amazon balance (making it basically the same as getting an Amazon gift card)
There’s a chance that they’ll update their services in the near future to allow you to sell your gift cards online but this isn’t the case yet. If that does happen though, we’ll be sure to update this article to let you know!
And to get a free $5 gift card that you can exchange for cash, all you have to do is sign up for Swagbucks for a FREE $5 welcome bonus, just for verifying your email address.
Free sign-up bonus: $10
A great app for making extra money, including with cash back from online shopping, watching videos, playing games and more.
And given it’s paid out over $550 million through Amazon, Paypal and other gift cards, it’s 100% legit.
How can I trade in gift cards for cash?
A good option for where you can exchange gift cards for cash is Gift Card Granny. As an aggregator of sites that let you sell gift cards online, you simply enter the gift card you want to sell and your balance. It will then show you a list of sites that will pay you for this gift card.
You can find out more by checking out Gift Card Granny directly as for me, it’s easily the best online Coinstar alternative.
One of the main reasons why it’s my top pick is because it only includes legit sites in its list of potential buyers. You’ll also immediately be able to see the price that’s on offer for your gift card, which will be up to around 92% of the balance.
You can see an example below when I asked to sell a $100 gift card from Target.
Just know that, in some cases, you can’t sell gift cards online electronically instantly with this method, as the sites will mostly only pay you once they’ve verified that your card is legit. Depending on how you ask to be paid, it can also take a couple of days for the money to arrive.
Can you sell gift cards for cash?
If you’re looking to do an in-person gift card exchange for cash, your options aren’t as varied as they used to be in previous years.
Some major shopping malls do still sometimes have gift card exchange kiosks from various companies, but these are becoming less and less as these companies shift to an online-only model due to the costs involved in maintaining physical kiosks.
Got a Visa gift card but want money for it? Take a look at our article on how to convert Visa gift cards to cash.
There used to be an option from Target where you could exchange unwanted gift cards for a Target gift card, although it wouldn’t be a one-to-one exchange. That is, they’d only exchange a percentage of the balance of the original gift card for Target credit.
Unfortunately, all of the information about this is pretty outdated and on Target’s website itself, it doesn’t look like there’s any information any more, so it seems that this is no longer a possibility.
This means that the most likely way to sell gift cards for cash is if you sell them on sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. If you’ve ever seen someone trying to sell a $100 Amazon gift card for $75 on there, this is what I’m talking about.
Of course, the biggest risk in searching madly for “cash for gift cards near me” and pursuing some of the options that appear is fraud. That is, sellers may be hesitant to do this when they have no way of knowing if the gift card you’re selling is legit.
This is partly why you need to offer your gift card at such a discounted rate: any buyer doing this is taking a risk in giving you their money.
Nevertheless, it’s definitely an option!
Who buys gift cards near me?
To find people willing to buy gift cards near you, check if a GiftCardBin partner location is nearby. Some pawn shops will also buy these from you. You can also find private individuals near you who may be willing to buy your gift card.
Just keep in mind with all these options that you shouldn’t expect to get anywhere near the full balance. In fact, especially at pawn shops, it’s going to be a good outcome if you get even half of what the card is worth.
GiftCardBin and private buyers may pay a bit more, up to around 70% of the balance. While that may not be ideal, at least it means you’ll be able to exchange your gift card for cash immediately.
How can I sell gift cards for cash instantly near me?
Sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace are the best options if you’re looking to sell gift cards for cash instantly near you. This is because you’ll be able to directly exchange your gift cards for actual money with someone in-person.
As mentioned above, you probably won’t get a one-to-one exchange here. That is, most people won’t pay, say, $50 for a gift card with a $50 balance on it.
Instead, expect to get around a 25% discount. This is partly for the risk that the purchaser is taking on by buying this gift card from you for cash instantly and partly because they’re essentially doing you a favor in giving you cash for this.
And when it comes to the question of “who actually buys gift cards for cash near me?” the answer will be: almost anyone! Maybe they want to give your gift card as a gift to someone else or just want to secure a discount at the retailer by paying less than the balance of your card. It can actually be a great way for them to save money – and the perfect solution for you to get some cash for this.
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What can you do with unwanted gift cards?
You have a few options for things you can do with unwanted gift cards:
- Sell your unwanted gift card for cash in-person
- Use a gift card exchange website to sell it online
- Donate the gift card to charity
- Gift it to someone
- Exchange it for a different retailer’s gift card with someone you know
- Use the gift card to purchase things for you to then sell
- Return the gift card to the retailer if they will accept it
What gift cards did Coinstar Exchange accept?
Coinstar Gift Card Exchange did accept a wide range of gift cards from over 150 retailers. These included major ones like Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks and more. However, they no longer accept gift cards, with the Coinstar exchange kiosks now being replaced with alternatives.
This simply means that you’ll have to check out one of the other options in order to exchange your gift cards for cash.
Does Coinstar buy gift cards?
Coinstar no longer buys gift cards, although it used to let you get cash from gift cards from over 150 retailers. Instead, it now allows you to exchange your coins for gift cards, meaning it now basically does the opposite job of what the Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosks did before.
This means that if you’re looking to get cash for a gift card, you should look at some of the other options for doing this. Keep reading to find out just what they are.
Does Coinstar give gift cards?
Coinstar does give gift cards in exchange for cash! All you have to do is go to a Coinstar kiosk, choose the gift card you want, put your coins in the slot and you’ll receive your gift card to use online or in-store.
They have a huge range of retailers to choose from, including Amazon, Dominos, Gap, Nike, Sephora, Starbucks and iTunes.
What is the fee for the Coinstar Gift Card Exchange?
The Coinstar gift card exchange rate is one-to-one when it comes to gift cards. That is, whatever the value of the coins you put into the kiosk is how much the gift card it gives you will be worth. There is, however, an 11.9% service fee for exchanging coins for notes.
This is pretty steep, especially as it means that if you deposit $100 of coins, you’ll lose almost $12 of this. This is why it can be a good idea to check for other options where you can cash in change for free.
How can I cash in change for free?
The best way to cash in change for free is to go to a bank that will do this for you. Not every bank offers this service, so make sure you call ahead to avoid having to carry a bunch of coins across town unnecessarily.
Some banks also require you to pre-roll the coins, which isn’t so hard once you get the hang of it but can take some time to figure out. If you’d rather avoid doing this, perhaps try contacting a few different banks before resigning yourself to an afternoon of wrestling with your spare change.
If you do want to attempt to do this yourself, figure out what value each roll of coins has to be, which is going to depend on the value of each individual coin. You can see the full list here.
So say you want a roll of dimes – you’re going to need 50 coins equalling $5. Do a stack of these and measure how long they are, then add around three to four inches on each end. This is how long each piece of paper is going to be.
Cut a bunch beforehand using some spare paper that you have lying around, as this is going to be easier than stopping and starting to cut more. From there, good luck! … and maybe check a few YouTube videos beforehand to see the best, quickest, least frustrating way to do this.
Where’s a Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosk near me?
To find a Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosk near you, go to their website and simply enter your location to find any of their kiosks. Just keep in mind that, at least in the US, Coinstar gift card exchange kiosks have been replaced with kiosks offering other services.
Specifically, if you’re frantically Googling for a “gift card exchange kiosk near me” and you’re in the US, go to this page. You’ll also find links to Coinstar’s websites in other countries if you’d like to find a kiosk near you there.
Do Coinstar cash vouchers expire?
Coinstar cash vouchers expire on the date printed on them. This is usually 24 to 48 hours after your voucher is printed, as you’re meant to print the Coinstar cash voucher then immediately go to the cash register in the store where the kiosk is located to exchange the voucher for cash.
Not only does this help you get your cash quicker, it’s also much more secure so you don’t accidentally lose your voucher or have it stolen from you.
Can you exchange a gift card for cash at Walmart?
No, you cannot exchange a gift card for cash at Walmart. It can only be used to purchase merchandise from Walmart. The one exception is if your gift card balance is very low, such as less than $1. In those cases, Walmart may give you the balance in cash.
You can, however, exchange your Walmart gift card for cash at other places – although, unfortunately, not at a Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosks near you, given they’ve been removed.
Final thoughts on using a Coinstar Gift Card Exchange near me
While I know I was pretty disappointed to see that it may no longer be possible to find a Coinstar Gift Card Exchange kiosk near me, there are plenty of Coinstar alternatives for those looking to do a gift card exchange for cash.
In particular, selling gift cards online appears to be the easiest and most secure option. The fact that these sites can guarantee to buyers that the gift cards are legit means that you’re likely to get your cash the fastest through there, as buyers are less hesitant to purchase gift cards through these dedicated sites compared to, say, Craigslist.
That said, using the gift card to buy something which you can then resell could see you getting more money for the item than you would if someone bought your gift card for a percentage of the balance. This is especially the case if you use the gift card to buy an item that’s on sale, meaning you may be able to resell it at its full price.
Either way, it’s safe to say that you definitely have some options if you’re stuck with an unwanted gift card!
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About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured in Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, Bankrate, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. With more than 10 years of experience in the financial and legal industries, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in these fields, as well as her own journey in turning $60,000 in debt into a thriving investment portfolio, she’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom. Find out more.