We’ve all had this problem. You are probably dealing with it right now. What to do with all those gift cards collecting dust in your drawer?
Perhaps you were gifted a gift card to a store or restaurant you would never frequent. Or maybe you’ve used up most of the balance, but have just enough left over to not be worth a damn.
Well, if you’re in Downtown Santa Monica then you’re in luck. There’s a service that lets you easily exchange those gift cards for cold, hard cash.
Coinstar Exchange used to just take all your old coins and give you credit, but now they do the same thing with your leftover gift card balances.
It’s pretty easy to use. Just swipe the gift card at the yellow Coinstar Exchange kiosk and an offer will appear. Accept it and receive a voucher that can be redeemed for cash at the register of the store where the machine is located. In Downtown Santa Monica’s case that would be the Vons on Lincoln and Broadway.
Coinstar Exchange accepts gift cards from more than 150 stores and restaurants. You can sell more than one card at a time.
The one downside of the service, and what will probably keep it from catching on, is that you have to have at least $20 left on the gift card. Most of us don’t unless it’s a card to a store or restaurant we don’t go to and therefore have a decent balance on the card.
You will need to bring a driver’s license and a debit or credit card for verification. You also might need your cell phone, but you probably have that on you anyway.
Give it a try and take that cash and buy something you really can’t live without, like a new pair of sneakers or some groceries. Chances are you’ll be in a grocery store when you cash out so kill two birds, right?