Have a few bucks and some change left on that gift card you received at the holidays or on your birthday two years ago?
If you live in one of at least six states, you can redeem that balance for cash.
California has a generous law, requiring retailers to redeem any gift card with a balance of $10 or less for its cash value.
Merchants in Maine and Massachusetts must redeem gift cards with balances of $5 or less for cash; in Montana, it's below $5. Washington also allows redemptions when balances fall below $5, though there are exceptions. In Vermont, only gift cards worth $1 or less are redeemable.
This allows cardholders to enjoy the full value of their gifts without having to spend more than the card is worth and make up the difference with their own money.
Consumers are holding billions of dollars' worth of unspent gift cards, and we suspect many of those have small balances that are difficult to use.
So if you live in California, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Washington or Vermont, dig all those old cards out of your junk drawer, take them to the store and get the cash that is rightfully yours.
Our 6 smart moves to get the most out of gift cards will ensure your presents get used.
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