Gift Card Redemption: How to turn them into cash

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The sales are undeniable. Retailers want you to walk through their doors and spend your Christmas cash.

"Retails have to hold onto that gift card and they can't realize the revenue until it is cashed in so this is a big week for gift card redemption," said Nancy Thomas, President of the Retail Merchants Association.

About half of all gift cards will be spent in the next month. But for those who prefer to wait, new FTC rules this year could help. Gift cards cannot expire for at least five years from the purchase date. Inactivity fees can only apply after a card has been idle for one full year and if the card has an expiration, it must be clearly stated on the card itself.

But what if you got a gift card that you know you'll never use. You can swap them online and get the cash, but there are a slew of different sites that buy and sell gift cards. I found a site that lists the pros and cons for all of them.

Top Ten Reviews breaks down inventory selection, website features and ease of use. It also tells you which site gives you the most cash for your card and rates the customer service.

When choosing a site to sell a card, pay attention to the extent of the merchant list. A longer list means the site has more resources -- and will be able to offer you a better price.

If you're looking to buy a swapped gift card, keep in mind that the more popular the store, the less of a discount you'll get.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.