March 21, 2023

A pedestrian carries buying luggage in San Francisco, California, US, on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

At the same time as many individuals wrestle to stretch their incomes amid excessive inflation, it turns on the market’s cash they have already got they’re in all probability overlooking — unused present playing cards.

To that time, 47% of individuals at the moment have no less than one unused present card, voucher or retailer credit score, in accordance with a brand new survey from

The common unused quantity is $175 per particular person, up from $116 final 12 months. For your entire U.S. grownup inhabitants, which will add as much as $21 billion, estimates.

Amid file excessive costs, these sums could present a great addition to customers’ wallets.

“It’s like discovering that $20 invoice in that jacket pocket from final winter,” stated Ted Rossman, senior business analyst at “However on this case, it’s much more cash than that.”

Holding onto present playing cards could be a dropping proposition for a number of causes, Rossman stated. The worth of the unused sums may go down due to inflation. It’s possible you’ll lose the cardboard or get charged inactivity charges. Or the shop could exit of enterprise.

“There’s actually no good that comes from letting these lie round,” Rossman stated.

Ideally, customers could discover methods to place the unused present playing cards in methods they may personally take pleasure in.

However should you can’t consider something you need, there are different methods to place the playing cards to good use, Rossman stated.

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Take stock of the unused present playing cards you’ve gotten and upcoming occasions like birthdays and holidays. You might be able to purchase items for pals or family members utilizing these balances.

Alternatively, it’s possible you’ll decide to resell your present playing cards with firms like CardCash, Elevate or ClipKard, Rossman recommended.

Nevertheless, it’s essential to notice these companies could solely honor a part of the worth, sometimes 70% to 80% of the unique sum.

Most present playing cards not expire. For people who do, rules usually prohibit them from doing so earlier than a five-year interval, in accordance with Rossman.

Nonetheless, companies could cost inactivity charges that eat into a present card’s unique worth. Plus, shops or eating places could exit of enterprise, rendering the sums ineffective.

“My recommendation could be to make use of them, as a result of they’re not going to be extra precious over time,” Rossman stated.

Of the two,372 adults who participated within the on-line survey in July, millennials had been almost certainly to have unused present playing cards mendacity round, at 52%, with a median worth of $226.

Subsequent got here Gen Z, of whom 51% had unused balances, with a median worth of $149.

Nevertheless, Gen X and child boomer respondents are additionally responsible of not placing present playing cards to make use of, with 43% and 42%, respectively.  The common unused worth is $180 for Gen Xers and $133 for child boomers.

When damaged down by family revenue, these with between $80,000 and $99,999 had been almost certainly to have unused present playing cards, with 57%, at a median worth of $227.

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Respondents with incomes of greater than $100,000 had been subsequent, at 56%, and a median worth of $265.

These with decrease earnings had been much less prone to let the sums go unused. Nonetheless, 41% of these with family revenue underneath $50,000 reported having unused present playing cards, in addition to 53% of these with between $50,000 and $79,999.

The common worth of unused present playing cards is $128 for households incomes lower than $50,000 and $165 for these with incomes between $50,000 to $79,999.