Stores in These States Must Give You Cash for Your Gift Cards
Everyone’s been in a situation where they’ve used a gift card and are left with a tiny amount of money left—it’s not enough for another purchase, and you don’t really want to buy something else with only a $1.43 discount, but you don’t want to discard the gift card either. That’d be like throwing away money.
One solution, depending on the state you live in, is to ask the store for cash. Many stores have policies against this, but some states, including California and New Jersey, require companies to reimburse you if you have less than a certain amount of money left on the gift card.
California: Any gift card worth less than $10 is redeemable in cash.
Colorado: You can redeem any card worth less than $5 for cash.
Connecticut: The merchant must redeem the card balance for cash if it is less than $3.
Maine: The merchant must redeem the value of a gift card worth less than $5 for cash, with some exceptions.
Massachusetts: If you cannot add more value to the card, you can redeem the remaining value of the gift card for cash if you’ve used 90 percent of its face value. If you can add more value to the card, you can redeem it for cash if it has less than $5 remaining on it.
Montana: You can redeem the remaining balance for cash if the card has less than $5 on it and was originally worth more than $5.
New Jersey: You can redeem the card for cash if it has less than $5 on it.
Oregon: The balance must be below $5, and you must have used it for one previous transaction, to redeem for cash.
Puerto Rico: You may redeem the card balance for cash if it has less than $5 on it.
Rhode Island: The balance must be less than $1 to redeem for cash.
Vermont: You can redeem the card for cash if it has less than $1 on it.
Washington: You can redeem the card for cash if it has less than $5 on it.
You can see your state’s specific law here (Connecticut passed its law after that page was published).