Gold Rush Will Pay Cash For Your Gift Cards…well, most of them!
Gold Rush is one of Colorado’s largest cash gift card buyers. 7 days a week, in all 6 Colorado Gold Rush locations, our Specialist will pay cash on the spot for gift cards from most major retailers. According to the Mercator Advisory Group, gift card spending in the United States has grown from $40 Billion in 2003 to well over $100 Billion in 2014. Some of the key data points from the study include…
• About 1/3 of all gifts purchased are gift cards.
• 94 percent of respondents stated they would be likely to purchase a gift card in the next year.
• Birthdays (70 percent) and winter holidays (64 percent) were the popular occasions to buy gift cards.
• Most gift cards buyers (96 percent) had also received gift cards.
• On average, gift card buyers had received 4.2 gift cards in the past year.
Read the full study here.
While the total dollar amount of unused gift cards has been declining year over year, there is still an estimated $1 Billion in unused gift card balances floating around in the wallets of American consumers. Gold Rush will pay you cold hard cash for most of those unused gift card with a minimum $10 balance!
Gold Rush Business Center Associates, who answer our incoming calls, get a lot of questions asking what brands we buy and how much we pay. Allow us an opportunity to shed some light on the subject of cashing out your unused and unwanted gift cards. The industry may not be as simple as it would seem…
What We Buy…
Gold Rush will pay immediate cash for gift cards from most national retailers with a minimum balance of $10 and no maximum. The list of brands that we do buy numbers in the thousands. We could never produce a complete and accurate list of acceptable gift cards because the market changes constantly. Brands go out of business; they change policies; they merge and divest from each other; etc.
A short list of some of our most popular gift card brands consist of retailers like Home Depot, Kohl’s, Starbucks, Macy’s, Target, Nordstrom, Best Buy, AMC Theaters, King Soopers, Kroger, Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, JCPenny, Victoria’s Secret, T.J. Maxx, Barnes & Noble, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Subway, Outback Steakhouse, Cheesecake Factory, Michael’s, Toys R Us, PetSmart, Chipotle, Fandango, REI, Massage Envy, Neiman Marcus, Hyatt, Southwest Airlines, Pottery Barn, Anthropologie, Tommy Bahama, and many, many, many more. This list of some of our more common gift card brands is a small fraction of the gift cards that we buy on a daily basis.
It is much easier to explain the handful of brands and scenarios that we do not buy instead…
Home Depot and Lowe’s Merchandise Credit:
Home Depot and Lowe’s are extremely popular gift card brands to both buy and sell. However, Home Depot and Lowe’s merchandise credit ranks as the #1 gift card that a Gold Rush Specialist is forced to turn away. In case you are wondering, whenever you return something to Home Depot or Lowe’s without a receipt they will likely issue a merchandise credit in the form of a gift card as opposed to cash or a credit to your debit card. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s have instituted similar policies regarding merchandise credit that make those funds untransferable, and usable, to another consumer.
Both Home Depot and Lowe’s, in an effort to combat massive fraud and theft problems, have severely restricted how those funds can be used. For instance, both Home Depot and Lowe’s no longer allow the card holder to spend that merchandise credit via the internet. Home Depot and Lowe’s have also instituted policies that attach the merchandise credit to the driver’s license of whomever the card was issued to. This means that the merchandise credit is only valid for the person who’s ID correlates to the card number.
The same holds true for a number of retailers. Petco and Gymboree are additional examples of this restriction. So consider, if the merchandise credit is only usable by the individual it was issued to, then how can it be sold to another consumer? The answer – It Can’t! That makes cards like this worthless to anyone other than the individual it was issued to. This is a big step in curbing the rampant theft and fraud occurring at both Lowe’s and Home Depot. It also means that those merchandise credit cards are only usable for their originally intended purpose – spending those funds inside the retailer by the original customer.
Gift Cards That Expire:
If your gift card has an expiration date, it is a gift card that Gold Rush can not buy. While this is no longer all that common, a few brands still issue gift cards that expire.
Bankrupt or Out-Of-Business Brands:
Retailers that have experienced a bankruptcy are unacceptable also. Sports Authority, once a major national sporting goods chain based in Denver, recently closed it’s doors for good. If you are holding a Sports Authority Gift Card you are, unfortunately, out of luck on all fronts. PacSun, the California-based clothing store, filed for bankruptcy in April of 2016. They later acquired new ownership and will continue operations into the future. While in bankruptcy, we were unable to buy PacSun gift cards. Since they have emerged from bankruptcy those Pac Sun gift cards are once again worthy of our instant cash.
Brand Specific Restrictions:
Some brands, mostly chain restaurants such as Chili’s, Cheesecake Factory, and Longhorn Steakhouse, have a ‘max value’ restriction. This means that our gift card brokers will not accept a Chili’s gift card with a balance that exceeds $200. There are a few other retailers that fall into this category. Cabela’s gift cards have a similar restriction. Other popular brands with the same restrictions include Chipotle, KFC, Hooters, Abercrombie, Boston Market, Landry’s Restaurants, Outback Steakhouse, Panera Bread, Panda Express, Papa John’s, McDonald’s, Olive Garden, and others.
Some of these establishments will take a large value gift card and break it down into smaller increments. Gold Rush will pay you cash for four $200 Chili’s cards, for example. But we would be unable to buy one $200 Chili’s gift card. If you have a chain restaurant gift card and would like to know if there is a value restriction on it, please call 303-282-4651.
Virtual brands like iTunes, Amazon, and Xbox Live as well as digital gift cards, or E-Gift Cards, are also brands that we can not accept.
Open-Loop/Reloadable Gift Cards or Visa, MasterCard, Amex Gift Cards:
Visa, MasterCard, or American Express gift cards can be used anywhere that your standard credit card or debit card can be used. Because of this fact, Gold Rush is unable to convert your unused open-loop gift card into cash.
All local merchants, and most regional merchants, are also unacceptable. The market to resell a gift card to a local merchant is very very small. Generally speaking, the brand needs to have a national retail presence or a substantial regional presence in order to be acceptable. Gordman’s is a good example of a regional brand who’s gift cards are resealable. IF we can sell it, we will buy it!