Do Pawn Shops Buy Gift Cards in 2023 (Payout Guide)

by Erin Schollaert


Gift cards are a fantastic way to grab a quick gift for someone you love: but if you receive a gift card, it can become a problem to figure out how to spend it.

How do you get rid of it? Do pawn shops buy gift cards?

Here’s everything you need to know if you’re wondering ‘will a pawn shop take a gift card?’ and what else you can do to make cash off that card!

Will a pawn shop take a gift card?


Yes! Most pawn shops quickly accept gift cards because they can knock as much value off them as they want, and the general customer will take it.

If you are wondering how much will pawn shops offer, the average shop will pay around 50% of the card’s value.

Many see this as a steep cut-off of the card’s value, but most receive their gift cards for free, so it’s already an increase in the amount they have if they accept 50%.

This is all part of how the pawning process works and is part of the difference between pawning vs selling.

You can try to haggle with them, but most pawn shops have a set rate they accept cards at and won’t go above that.

Trend on the Rise

Over 50% of American adults have unused gift cards, with an average of over $100 available in card form. This 50% is money left on the table that you could be spending otherwise.

Is it worth selling a card to them?

You may start searching for things like ‘sell gift cards near me’ after seeing that amount of money taken off the card, but there may be some value in accepting that payment.

These are the pros and cons:


Tactic for Success

Call around if you’re considering selling a gift card to a local pawn shop. Some shops will pay more than 50%, while others will try to go as low as 30% if they think you’re desperate for the money. Follow these pawn shop selling tips to earn the biggest cut.

When Should You Avoid Selling to a Pawn Shop

Although it may feel like there’s never a wrong time to sell a gift card, there are some that you should avoid.

Visa and cash gift cards shouldn’t be sold: you can use them like cash. Although some dislike swiping something that’s visibly a gift card, it’s better than losing 50% of its value to have it in cash.

You should also be aware if the person who gave you the gift card will be watching to see what you purchase from the store it’s for.

You might not want to hurt someone’s feelings by having to admit you sold the gift they gave you.

What do pawn shops do with gift cards?

Some pawn shops will resell gift cards, offering them at 75% to 90% of the card’s initial value to make a profit from the amount of money they paid for the card.

This is the shortest distance between them making money: but these don’t sell quickly, so many pawn shops turn to other methods.

Another common way pawn shops use gift cards is to take the cards to those shops and buy high-value items, such as these items you can pawn for $500.

If they use a $100 gift card, they paid $50 to buy a $100 necklace; they’ve bought it for 50% off.

From here, they can price that item however they want, and as long as it’s above $50, they’re making a profit. There are better items to sell instead.


Best Items to Sell to Pawn Shops:

  • High-Quality JewelryJewelry with real stones, by recognizable brands, or made of precious metals is worth more.
  • Precious Metals – Gold, silver, and copper, are usually valuable.
  • Wrist Watches – Watches made by reputable and luxury brands are worth more.
  • Registered Firearms – Your firearm has to be registered in your name and good condition.

Trend on the Rise

Pawnshops generally try to gain profit margins of at least 15% to 25% above what they paid for the item. By buying and then reselling items, they’re using the gift card to pay more than they would usually pay for things, but using the saved money from the gift card, they’ll still make earnings.

Where else can you sell gift cards?


Pawn shops aren’t your only option! You can sell your cards to websites if you have extra time and want to get more than that 50%.

Most of these won’t even ask that you mail your gift card to them; they’ll want you to send the codes you have for the cards.

These Are the Top Sites to Consider Selling To:

  • Sell on CardCashCardCash offers up to 92% of your card’s value, depending on the brand’s popularity.
  • Sell on CardSell – CardSell offers an average of 85% for all cards.
  • Sell on Raise – Raise will give you up to 80% of the card’s value and takes a 1% fee.

Unfortunately, eBay doesn’t allow the sale of gift cards, so it’s not an option.

These are generally a better idea to sell to unless you, for some reason, don’t have access to Paypal or any of their other payment forms. None of these pay by check or cash.

Tactic for Success

Check out the company or site your gift card is for. You may find a sale section with items you can attempt to sell for more than the gift card’s value if you purchase them. This option isn’t a guaranteed win, but it’s a good idea to check.

Wrapping Up

Pawn shops will pay you for gift cards! If you’re okay with giving up 50% of the card’s value, this can be an awesome option for fast cash.

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Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.

About the Author

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Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.