Can You Return A Gift Card

Can You Return A Gift Card? Explained

Last Updated on February 25, 2024 by Kimberlee Johnson

Opening a gift card is akin to unlocking a realm of opportunities. However, if those opportunities do not match your preferences, can you exchange or return the gift card?

I’ve been there – standing puzzled in front of a store display, wondering if returning a gift card is possible. Today, I’ll share the ins and outs of returning gift cards and what you might encounter.

Is It Okay To Return A Gift Card?

gift cards

Returning a gift card depends on the store’s policies. Not all retailers permit gift card returns, including those with specific conditions. 

Some stores only accept returns within a certain timeframe or if the gift card has not been used. It’s vital to check the retailer’s return policy or contact customer service for accurate information. 

Returning a gift card might only sometimes be feasible, so choosing a reliable store is wise and considering the recipient’s preferences before purchasing a gift card.

What Are Some Tips To Return Your Gift Card?

1. Ensure The Card Remains Untouched

To facilitate the return process, ensure the gift card remains unused. Many stores only accept returns for unredeemed cards, so double-checking this aspect is essential. 

“My love can’t be purchased. Best gifts have been well-thought-out surprises.”

Nina Dobrev, Canadian Actress

Scrutinize the card’s balance and transaction history [1], usually done online or through customer service. But how can you reload a Panera Bread gift card?

2. Familiarize Yourself With State Refund Laws

Depending on where you live, state laws can impact gift card returns. 

Some states require retailers to provide cash refunds for gift cards with low balances, while others might not mandate any refunds at all. 

Understanding your state’s regulations can help you navigate the return process more effectively.

3. Review The Retailer’s Return Policy

Each store has its return policy [2], which might cover gift card returns. Some retailers allow refunds, while others might limit them to specific situations or timeframes. 

Carefully review the return policy online or in-store to comprehend the conditions and steps required for a successful return.

4. Be Ready To Verify Your Identity

Certain stores request identification during gift card returns to prevent fraud and verify your identity. 

Prepare a valid ID such as a driver’s license or passport to streamline the return process and ensure a smooth transaction.

5. Locate The Initial Purchase Receipt

Holding onto the original receipt can simplify the return process. The receipt validates the purchase and demonstrates the card’s legitimacy. 

If you don’t have the receipt, ask the gift giver if they can provide a copy or any relevant information.

6. Anticipate Varied Refund Options

Remember that refund methods might differ from cash returns when returning a gift card. 

Instead of cash, you could receive store credit, a replacement gift card, or a credit applied to the original purchaser’s account. Understand the potential refund options beforehand.

7. Explore Alternatives

If returning the gift card proves challenging, consider exploring alternative ways to use it. 

You might find items you need or want within the store, or you could regift the card to someone who would appreciate it more. Exploring these alternatives can make the most of the situation.

Check out these tips to sell gift cards on eBay here.

Can A Gift Card Be Returned For A Refund?

Gift Card on a Store

In general, many prominent retailers, such as Amazon, explicitly outline in their terms and conditions that physical and digital gift cards are non-refundable. 

It’s crucial to review the specific policies of the retailer in question, as they often maintain that gift card purchases are final. 

“Return policies for gift cards compose a script where the characters of giver, recipient, and retailer must find harmony.”

Howkapow Gift Site

These terms are commonly mentioned in their terms and conditions to provide clarity to customers regarding the non-refundable nature of gift cards.

Can Gift Card Funds Be Exchanged For Cash?

Yes, gift card funds can be converted into cash or alternative gift cards through reputable platforms such as CardCash and Raise. 

Although the value received might be less than the full amount, this approach remains preferable to leaving a gift card unused. 

Also Read: Why Did Amazon Refund You With Gift Cards?


What happens to unused funds on gift cards?

When gift cards go unused after their validity period or have a remaining balance, the issuing company typically retains the unutilized funds. 

It allows the company to recover a portion of the value that wasn’t redeemed by the cardholder.

Can gift cards be returned to Walgreens?

Walgreens’ policy states that gift cards are generally non-refundable and cannot be returned for cash unless required by law.

But can Visa gift cards be used at restaurants?

Can a gift card be returned to CVS?

CVS’s policy dictates that gift cards, prepaid cards, and phone cards are generally non-returnable and non-exchangeable unless mandated by law. 

Unopened cards cannot be returned, and refunds are not provided for items per their policy. 

Which states require gift card refunds?

States such as Kansas, Vermont, Colorado, California, New Jersey, Oregon, Montana, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Washington have regulations that may require retailers to offer refunds for gift cards under specific circumstances.

Final Thoughts

In my own experiences and research, the ability to return a gift card largely depends on the store’s policies and specific circumstances. 

Not all retailers permit gift card returns and those that do often come with conditions. 

It’s crucial to verify whether the card has been used, understand your state’s refund laws, and thoroughly review the retailer’s return policy. 

Having identification ready, locating the original receipt, and preparing for various refund options are also key. 

Lastly, if returning the gift card isn’t an option, considering alternative uses or regifting can help ensure the card doesn’t go to waste.


Kimberlee Johnson
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