How I Accidentally Discovered a Way to Cash Out a Store Gift Card

Converted a Store Gift Card Balance to Cash

It was purely accidental, but I recently converted the remaining balance of a store gift card into cash.

I had to get some things from a major home improvement retailer store. I had a $100 e-gift card for use at said store. There was a wait at the cashier lines, so I opted for self-checkout. It was not the first time I’ve used a self-checkout. However, it was the first time I’m paying with a store e-gift card.

After I rang up the items, the total came out to be $92 and some change. I followed the on-screen instructions, scanned my gift card and typed in the PIN.

Since I have a leftover balance, I put my e-gift card away for the next trip to the store.

Much to my surprise, the machine dispenser spat out my change.

I actually got back $7 in bills and some change.

If the gift card was redeemed using miles, it means one could potentially cash out with a value of one cent per mile. Obviously, I don’t believe that redeeming for a gift card is the best value of miles and points. Generally speaking, you can get a much better value on travel redemptions.

A Pleasant Surprise

I hadn’t tried it again since I only had one gift card. I also don’t know if it works for all locations or if it works all the time, though I imagine this is only possible for small change.

It was a good reminder to me that not all self-checkout work the same. I was just going to grab my receipt and leave the store, so I was glad that the money dispenser made enough noise to alert me to pick up my change.

It was actually quite a pleasant surprise to be able to get cash back and use up the remaining balance. Often, one of the most annoying things about gift cards is that you end up with some odd leftover balance and you’d wonder what to do with them.

In my case, it means there’s one less thing I need to carry around.

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