Earn Cash for your Gift Cards from Coinstar Exchange!

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Earn cash for gift cards from Coinstar Exchange

Have you ever received a gift card but realized it was for something you weren’t interested in or maybe you didn’t have that particular restaurant or store close to you? Rather than have those gift cards go to waste sitting in your wallet, you can now earn cash for your gift cards at the new Coinstar Exchange kiosks. Coinstar, well known for their green grocery store kiosks where you can bring in your coins & turn them into cash {make sure to check out our Coinstar review to see how it works}, is now offering these new Coinstar Exchange kiosks in select locations around the country.  They will accept more than 150 gift cards from a variety of different retailers & offer you cash right on the spot in exchange for your gift cards.

Gift cards are getting more & more popular to give for gifts for the holidays (especially with Father’s Day & Graduation gifts) coming up, but a recent study by First Data showed that $7 –  $8 billion dollars of gift cards are left unused every year. Isn’t that unbelievable? But it may be a situation where the recipient just doesn’t have a location close to them for that particular store or restaurant or it may just not be something they are really interested in, so they don’t make the effort to go check it out to use it. So, rather than let those gift cards sit at the bottom of your purse or wallets, Coinstar Exchange offers you a way you can get some cash out of that gift card to go buy something you’re really wanting.


For those of us in the Northwest, many Safeway stores around the Puget Sound area now carry these bright yellow Coinstar Exchange kiosks. You can check out the Coinstar Exchange locator page to see if they have a location near you. If they do not have a location near you yet, they will be expanding more & more in the coming months, so keep checking back to see if they bring a Coinstar exchange to your area.

You can also follow Coinstar’s Facebook page & Twitter account for more details on new locations & current news on the Coinstar Exchange program.

Coinstar Exchange Kiosk Process

How the process works::

  • Gather your unused gift card, Driver’s License and/or credit card .  See a list of gift cards accepted at a Coinstar Exchange location. {Scroll to the bottom to see the list}
  • Head to your nearest Coinstar Exchange kiosk (you can find a Coinstar Exchange Kiosk location here)
  • Search for the name of your gift card

Coinstar exchange gift card

  • Scan or swipe your gift card . They will give you an offer for your gift card & you can choose to accept it or not.
  • If you accept the offer, then you’ll need to scan/swipe a form of Identification like your Driver’s License
  • Insert your gift card into the machine
  • A voucher for your cash will then print from the machine. Take the voucher to the Customer Service desk on that same day to trade it in for the cash value.

I headed into my local Coinstar Exchange in my small  Safeway store armed with a $25 Sports Authority gift card that Coinstar provided to check out how this new kiosk works.  I went through most of the process I listed above and I was offered $15 in cash for the Sports Authority gift card.  Every gift card will be different as far as how much they will offer you for the gift card, so you’ll need to bring in your gift cards & just check & see how much they offer for each gift card you have.

I was interested to see how this compared to an online site where you can sell gift cards so I checked out PlasticJungle.com and their site said they would offer $18.50 for the $25 gift card if I accepted check, direct deposit, or Paypal, or $19.24 if I accepted an Amazon gift card as payment. So, you will make a couple dollars more by using an online site; however, the main difference is the convenience and time. For the online sites, you will need to mail in your physical gift cards and wait for the payment, but with the Coinstar Exchange program, you can get instant cash for your gift card right there in the grocery store. Plus, the whole process of using the Coinstar Exchange program took about 5 – 10 minutes max to deposit your gift card & get your money from the Customer Service desk.

Save on Time and Convenience:

I’ll be honest in that I’m terrible at mailing stuff (mail-in rebates, cards to friends & family, you name it) so I’d still have the gift card still sitting in my wallet if it meant sending it in to an online site to sell the gift card . But knowing that I now have the option to exchange a gift card & get cash right there in the grocery store, that’s a huge benefit in my book, knowing that the gift card will not go to waste & I can use the cash on something I want or need instead.  With summertime coming up, that $15 cash is going into our vacation fund as we love making memories as a family traveling, so we save our coins all year long to turn into cash at the Coinstar kiosk and now we can start digging through any unused gift cards, too, and turn that into cash for our travel fund!

What old gift cards do you have sitting in your wallet or at the bottom of your purse that you can turn into cash? 

Disclosure:  Coinstar has sponsored this post so that we can share about this great new option to earn extra cash.  All opinions are 100% mine. See our disclosure policy  for more details.

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