Do you have an Amex gift card, but need cash instead? Here is how to convert AmEx gift cards to cash.
American Express accounts for nearly a quarter of all credit card transactions in the US. Gift cards can be a kind and thoughtful gift. If you’ve received one, the giver probably intended for you to be able to purchase something for yourself that you either want or need.
However, what do you do if you need cash for the gift card instead?
While it can take a bit of creativity, there are ways to get the balance of your gift card so that you can use it for other purposes.
Today, we’re sharing some tips to make this process easier.
Where Can You Use Your American Express® Gift Cards?
The easiest way to get the full value for your gift is to use it for purchases.
These gift cards can typically be used at most in store and online retailers and are accepted anywhere American Express is accepted in the United States and the District of Columbia.
American Express gift cards cannot be used for recurring billing or at ATMs.
Your gift card may be declined if there are not available funds available on the gift card to cover your purchase, or a pre-authorization request.
Some businesses such as gas stations pre-authorize a certain amount for those who pay at the pump. To avoid this and only have a hold for the amount you spend, pay inside the gas station where possible.
To make sure you have enough on your gift card for purchases, keep track of your available balance having your card declined.
How to Check Your American Express Gift Card Balance
Before you use your AmEx gift card to make a purchase, or to convert to cash, you will need to know how much is on the card.
To check the balance of your American Express Gift Card, visit balance.amexgiftcard.com and enter your Gift Card’s Security Code, Expiration Date, and Card Number.
How to Cash out American Express Gift Card
Whether you don’t need to use the gift card in stores, or you just need cash now, there are a few ways to convert your Amex Gift Cards to Cash with a little bit of work and creativity.
Here are some ideas on how to convert Amex Gift Cards to cash.
Ask For a Refund
If you are the one that purchased the American Express Gift Card, it may be possible to get a refund on the purchase.
While there are certain terms and conditions that apply, you can see the cardholder agreement for details. You can also call 1-833-205-8622 to find out how you can get a refund on your purchase.
Take Advantage of Local Laws to Cash Out Small Balances
Depending on where you live, you may be able to convert your Amex gift cards to cash if the balances are small.
Some states have laws that require retailers to convert remaining gift card balances to cash if the balance is under a certain amount.
While these balance requirements are typically small (under $10) and do vary from state to state, it can be worth checking, especially if you have multiple gift cards. Check the cash-out requirements by locality here.
Add Your American Express Gift Card to a Digital Wallet
Do you regularly use Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay?
If so, add your American Express Gift Card or eGift Card to your digital wallet to use when making regular purchases.
This can be done by opening the wallet app on your device and entering your card number or by taking a picture of the plastic card.
Sell Your Gift Card
If you have an Amex gift card or another type of gift card, some online marketplaces, gift card kiosks and check cashing stores may buy your gift card for cash.
While you will lose a percentage of your gift card, since these retailers won’t offer you the full gift card value, this can still be an efficient way to access a majority of the value in cash.
Walmart has an online gift card website where you can redeem gift cards for cash at www.cardcash.com.
Another way to sell your gift card is to do so in local online groups such as a Facebook marketplace.
Some individuals have found success selling gift cards for slightly less than the value, such as selling a $50 gift card for $45. Be prepared to provide proof of the gift card balance before completing the sale.
Buy a Money Order
Some American Express Gift Card holders have had luck with purchasing a money order with their AmEx gift card and then redeeming the money order for cash.
Depending on where you purchase the money order, this may or may not be possible since some locations will require a gift card with a pin for money order purchases.
If this is the case, you may be able to use your AmEx gift card to purchase another gift card with a pin, and then purchase the money order. Be aware before doing so, there may be fees for purchasing gift cards, as well as for purchasing or cashing money orders.
Buy Items and Return for Cash
While I haven’t personally tried this unconventional method, it’s worth mentioning as a potential option to convert your American Express gift card into cash.
You’d need to find a store that gives cash returns, purchase items using your gift card, then return these items for a cash refund.
It’s not the most straightforward process and comes with a few caveats – not all stores will provide cash refunds and many are tightening up their return policies. Some may only offer refunds to the original form of payment to deter fraud.
I’ve received numerous gift cards over the years as gifts and prizes. Sometimes these gift cards are a great fit and my family can use them right away.
Other times we are not able to use them and getting cash for the gift cards would be more helpful for our budget. While sometimes cashing out gift cards can take a bit of creativity, it can provide additional cash.
If you’re wondering how to convert Amex gift cards to cash, you may be able to do so in a few different ways. Whether you do it by adding your gift card balance to your digital pay account, buying a money order or selling your gift card, it is possible to get cash with a bit of work and creativity.
Have a method of converting Amex gift cards to cash that we missed? Leave it in the comments below!
Kim Ritter is a frugal living expert, blogger and mom of two from small-town Iowa. What began as an effort to help her family save a few dollars a month has now transformed into a full-time passion to help other parents money. Visit her online at twokidsandacoupon.com and follow her on Twitter at @2kidsandacoupon for more ways your family can have fun on a budget.