How To Transfer a Gift Card Balance to a Bank Account
How To Transfer Gift Card Balance to a Bank Account—Legitimate Hacks
Giving each other gift cards has become quite the sophisticated norm these days, but sometimes, all you want is a wad of cold, hard cash. Why spend the funds on a fancy product or service you don’t need? Don’t fret—this guide will break down:
- How to transfer your gift card balance to a bank account
- How to get money off a gift card
Before we explore the available options, know that the circulation of gift cards is rooted in consumerism. They are meant to be redeemed for intended products or services—not encashed at a bank. If you want to convert your gift card to money, you’ll have to settle for indirect methods of achieving that.
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How To Get Money From a Gift Card to a Bank Account—Strategies
There’s no straightforward way to transfer your gift card balance to a bank account, but it’s still doable—with the right strategy. You can pick a suitable method depending on the type of gift card you possess—an open-loop or a closed-loop gift card. Refer to the table below for more details on how to transfer money from a gift card to a bank account:
Gift Card Type
Open-loop gift card
An open-loop gift card is a general-purpose gift card not associated with a particular retailer and can be redeemed at various online and brick-and-mortar stores. These gift cards are offered by the following credit card networks:
You can transfer an open-loop gift card’s balance to your bank account by:
Closed-loop gift card
A closed-loop gift card is a traditional gift card—it can only be redeemed at a specific store or group of stores. Examples include gift cards from brands like DoorDash, Nike, Macy’s, Roblox, Xbox, and Apple
A closed-loop gift card can be turned into money only if you resell it. You can get paid with a check or transfer the proceeds to your bank account
Before diving into the transfer methods, know that none of them recovers the full value of your gift card—there will always be underlying charges/fees involved.
Source: Karolina Grabowska
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How To Send Money With a Gift Card via PayPal
PayPal is a convenient medium you can use to pay for goods and services but also liquidate open-loop gift cards, although in a roundabout way. To achieve the latter, you need two PayPal accounts. The company allows you to have two accounts for personal and business use, but you can also use the account of a trusted friend or a family member as a second account.
Once you have both accounts set up, you need to link your open-loop gift card to one account and your bank account to the other. After you’ve done that, complete the transfer by following the steps below:
- Log in to your PayPal account—the one that’s linked to the gift card
- Use your gift card to send money to the second account
- Log in to the second account
- Transfer the money received to your attached bank account
Keep in mind that you may lose between three and five percent of the gift card value in transfer charges through this method.
How To Deposit Gift Card Balance Into Bank Account Through a Money Order
Open-loop gift cards can be used to purchase money orders, which can then be encashed at any bank. A money order is a financial document that works like a prepaid check—it allows the payee to receive a particular sum of money. You can make a money order to yourself by adding your own name as the payee.
Money orders can cost anywhere between 45 cents to $2, depending on the value the document holds and where you bought it—which can be from places like:
- US Postal Service offices
- Retail locations like Walmart, CVS, and Kroger
- Credit Unions
Once you have the money order, visit your bank and use the document to make a direct deposit to your account. You can ask the banking personnel to guide you through the process. You can also skip the deposit and exchange the money order for cash.
Source: Blake Wisz
How To Transfer Gift Card Money to a Bank Account Using Square
Transferring an open-loop gift card’s balance to a bank account is also possible if you or anyone in your family is a business owner who uses Square’s products.
Square is a point-of-sale (POS) and digital payments management service offered by Block, Inc. You can use Square’s hardware and software products to read cards, process payments, and send money to an attached bank account.
If you have access to a Square POS machine, all you have to do is:
- Scan or swipe the Mastercard, Visa, Amex, or Discover gift card through the reader
- Collect the money in your Square account
- Log in to your account on Square’s app or website to transfer the money to a linked bank account
The charge for a Square-enabled bank transfer is roughly around 2.75%.
How To Take Money off a Gift Card Through Sale
All the methods discussed above relate to open-loop cards—if you want to liquidate a closed-loop gift card, your only recourse is to sell it. You can sell any kind of an active gift card, close- or open-looped, usually for prices lower than its face value.
The table below outlines some ways to resell your gift card:
Sell it to a retailer or a pawnbroker
Many local store owners and pawnbrokers agree to buy gift cards, but the rates they offer are typically 60% or less. If you trade your card at a retail store, you may receive store credits or other gift cards instead of cash
Place a classified ad
You can find local buyers for your gift card by posting a classified ad on platforms, such as:
If you finalize a sale through these platforms, choose to collect cash in person. Opting for bank transfers can be risky as many scammers steal gift card codes from amateur sellers and disappear from the platform
Use a gift card resale website
Gift card resale and exchange websites are online marketplaces that enable organized sales of secondhand gift cards. You can earn 50%–90% of your gift card value through such platforms—some popular ones include:
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Featured image source: Maxim Ilyahov