It’s normal for people to forget they are in possession of a usable gift card because we usually stuff them away in the drawer.
So, if you are cleaning the house and one day come across several unused gift cards lying at the bottom of the cabinet, we recommend selling them. There are online platforms that will accept such cards from you and offer cash in return, which seems like a legitimate deal.
But are you thinking of using CardCash for the transactions? You might have heard murmurings about how the organization is unreliable, and in today’s guide, we explore the truth behind those claims.
What Is CardCash?
Suppose you have a $15 gift card lying in your wallet since the last purchase. But why haven’t you used it yet? Is it because it’s just $15, and you shopped worth hundreds of dollars, so it doesn’t hold much value?
While a couple of dollars may not seem much, you will be astonished to know that the money from unused gift cards amounts to $15 billion in America. Now that we have your attention, and you’re probably counting the number of zeroes in $15 billion, there is a way to ensure the money doesn’t go to waste.
In 2009, Elliot Bohm and Mark Ackerman founded CardCash, an online platform to help people sell gift cards. And since there is an option to sell, consumers can also buy multiple gift cards or exchange gift cards online.
The business of purchasing gift cards captured people’s imagination, and soon the business flourished, with several top sites ranking CardCash as the best site for selling gift cards. If you visit the site, you will see 3 parties participate in the process – CardCash, a buyer, and a seller.
So, What’s The Problem?
So far, everything seems okay with CardCash, bringing together gift card sellers and buyers or offering people the opportunity to exchange unused cards. But as with any business bureau, the problems started to surface after some time.
Consumers questioned the reliability of the platform, with several people reporting sales were shady or faced a sudden loss of card balances. As more users reported similar issues, CardCash came under fire for unsafe transactions.
The platform has since then gone on to receive multiple negative reviews but more on that later. Let’s first understand how CardCash works.
How Does CardCash Work?
Consumers shopping at retail stores buy discounted gift cards for a nominal amount or receive them for large purchases. Sometimes, the problem is that a particular gift card is only accepted at selected stores, or you may want cash instead of the card.
That’s where CardCash acts as the initiator, bringing together people for selling or buying gift cards. Once you decide to sell gift cards, CardCash acts as the middleman and wants to know the merchant’s name.
Then, the platform will confirm the correct balance present on your gift card before making an offer in exchange for the same. If you accept, you can pay the company with a check, cash, or PayPal account.
Or, as a buyer of unwanted gift cards, you can visit the CardCash website to choose a discounted gift card from their list of options.
How Much Does CardCash Pay For Gift Card Balances?
Selling gift cards on CardCash doesn’t mean you will get full value for the balance. While it’s impossible to determine how much a gift card will fetch, consumers don’t get more than 92% of the card balance in most instances.
One of the factors that determine the worth of discounted gift cards is the popularity of the merchant. It’s made abundantly clear by CardCash that gift cards from popular merchants like Walmart and Amazon will fetch more compared to lesser-known brands.
That’s where the problem lies – despite being a platform to sell and buy gift cards, the decision-making process is a bit ambiguous. Many people feel it’s not the correct way to make money online, labeling it a fraudulent site.
Does CardCash Have A Refund Policy?
Unlike more reliable sites, such as Gift Card Granny, CardCash has no refund policy, which is shady. Instead, the company has a 45-day buyer protection policy to safeguard consumers if the gift card does not work. And no surprise that once the 45-day time frame is over, you can’t raise any issues with the organization about the purchase.
What Are The Main Problems With CardCash?
While the idea of the company to buy, exchange, or sell gift cards was noble, it has certainly been found wanting in execution. This has been revealed by the overall CardCash review, with every consumer sharing their personal experience after making gift card transactions.
In this section, we have narrowed down the main problems with the CardCash marketplace.
1. Balance Discrepancy
Of the many reviews we checked, a common narrative in most of them was about lost money. Several consumers reported that the gift card cash was visible for 45 days, but balances seemingly disappeared after the buyer’s protection period was over.
This is highly suspicious, especially considering multiple complaints have been lodged as the amount of money lost has increased with time. Even more frustrating is that the online platform has no customer support team, and netizens can’t contact the company to address their concerns.
There’s no one to resolve the issues, and CardCash doesn’t seem to care either once the protection period ends. Hence, most people use their gift cards within 45 days of purchasing them or choose another company on the gift card marketplace.
2. Low Cash Value
Even if you are one of the lucky few whose card cash balance is unaffected, you would be unwilling to sell gift cards for less than their worth. No one would want to give away gift cards for less than the actual amount, provided they know how much the card is worth.
And CardCash exploits this fact to the fullest. Banking on consumers’ lack of knowledge and the realization that people don’t put much importance on gift cards, CardCash will repeatedly offer you a lower price.
The company might claim that you’re getting 92% of the card value, but it could be offering only 50% of the actual amount. And adding to this marketing gimmick is the company’s ploy of determining the popularity of the card merchant.
Long story short, things mostly appear out of your control despite owning a valuable gift card, with consumers not willing to count on luck for their purchases.
3. Negative CardCash Review On Better Business Bureau
An easy way to determine whether the platform is worth exploring is by looking at the CardCash BBB rating. And unfortunately, the ratings received by the company indicate that transactions on the site involve high risk.
We have seen that over 200 customers have lodged complaints about the organization on Better Business Bureau due to multiple discrepancies. It’s not an exaggeration to conclude that instead of protecting consumers who bring business to the site, CardCash is more interested in making a quick buck.
Everything weighs against the customer, from the transaction process to negotiations; that’s why people claim CardCash is stealing money. The allegations became so severe that in 2016, Better Business Bureau reached out to the company, asking them to eliminate such patterns of complaints.
CardCash said it would include a disclaimer for consumers, asking them to use the gift card within the 45-day buyer protection period. However, it had little effect as people’s woes continued, so much so that in 2017 BBB concluded CardCash had been unable to eliminate cheating and provide the best value to customers.
If you visit the site, you will see that BBB has rated CardCash B -, which means the company fails to live up to its promise.
What Are The Alternatives To CardCash?
So, what do you do if you need to exchange gift cards for real cash? Do you take a gamble and hope everything goes well on CardCash?
We suggest opting for safer alternatives, like CardPool and Gift Card Granny, where the quality of the service is also better. You get good value for buying or selling gift cards, while the chances of fraud are less.
Is CardCash Safe?
Interestingly, many still consider CardCash, a reputable company that continues to be a major player in the online gift card marketplace. We can only guess that there are sellers who are comfortable with how the company functions, despite glaring flaws related to transparency.
Whatever the reason, we can’t label CardCash a scam or call it a reliable organization. There’s no hiding from the fact that it hardly cares for consumers, with the main motive being to encourage people to buy and sell gift cards.
There have been multiple complaints and poor reviews, and even a noticeable pattern emerged about the issues people faced. However, we must acknowledge that not all is bad about CardCash, and the reviews have seen largely mixed reactions.
So, despite all that we have said earlier, is there any reason you should still use CardCash? We answer this question in the next section.
Is There Anything Good About CardCash?
Let’s be honest – CardCash is a well-known name in the gift card market, which means everything about the company can’t be bad. Consumers have reported purchasing gift cards from top brands like Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy has become easier and more affordable, thanks to CardCash’s services.
Provided you know what to buy or gift people, this reduces the hassle of making costly payments. Based on the merchant you are purchasing from, you can enjoy discounts between 1 and 45%.
Moreover, if you get a free gift card, make sure to avail yourself of the offer within 45 days to minimize the chances of losing more money. Make a mental note that the company won’t accept additional liability if the gift card stops working after this.
And explain the process of using the gift card and the risks involved when giving it to someone.
What Remedial Measures Can CardCash Take?
Since CardCash is an online platform, most transactions involve a third party, just as you would find on Amazon and eBay. But such sites are multi-billion dollar companies, having more resources at their disposal.
As third-party vendors are responsible for selling gift cards, your experience depends on strangers’ nobility and whether they offer legit cards that work. This is scary to think about, especially when there’s hardly any regulation from the company’s end.
Hence, it’s only natural to find some bad players on the platform who ruin the experience for everyone. After carefully analyzing the problems, we think that the main issue arises when certain vendors exploit customers by using the PIN on the card.
Usually, in such instances, people haven’t used the cards, so it’s crucial to have regulations in place to protect people’s interests. Even if the majority on the platform are honest and looking to empty their junk drawer full of gift cards, the risk posed by a few can’t be ignored.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does CardCash take to complete transactions?
In most instances, CardCash pays sellers within 1-2 days of completing the transaction. This is irrespective of the amount of money they are paying, be it 92% like they claim or significantly lower, such as less than 50%.
2. Does CardCash make money from transactions?
As an online business, it’s obvious that CardCash is making money from transactions, so let us tell you how. The more people sell or buy gift cards using the platform, the better it is for the company because they retain a portion of the sales.
But again, there is no clarity about the amount of money CardCash can make from transactions. This is because, depending on the merchant, the company can keep more or less money for itself.
If we take CardCash at face value – it keeps 8% of all transactions, considering consumers receive 92% of the card value as promised. However, that is not the case all the time, and the profit the company makes can be higher.
3. What are the pros of CardCash?
There are 4 benefits of using CardCash that you should know about.
A. 45-Day Guarantee
While all is not right with this policy, we give the company credit for trying to have some regulations in place. We have seen that most issues occur when consumers don’t spend the balance within 45 days, so if you are prompt, the chances of scams are less.
Although we can’t guarantee huge discounts, most of the offers on the site are 15% or above. But in some rare cases, you find discounted gift cards worth 30% or more.
C. Payment Methods
You can make payments through multiple channels, which proves convenient for consumers. While it increases the risk of fraud due to the lack of necessary regulations, completing the transaction or getting money from the other party isn’t time-consuming.
D. Multiple Brands
Astonishingly, CardCash deals in multiple brands, from the biggest players in online retail to even minor companies. There are over 1,000 organizations associated with the brand, and even if all merchants aren’t available at once, it’s difficult to ignore the options on offer.
4. What are the cons of CardCash?
Sadly, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to CardCash, and people have more to say about the company’s shady policies.
A. Lower Earnings
Compared to the people buying or exchanging gift cards, sellers are most vulnerable because they earn less than the card value. Moreover, CardCash sells a large volume of gift cards for slightly more than their worth, thereby earning a substantial profit.
B. Frequent Complaints
More and more people seem to be filing formal complaints against CardCash, and the company has received over 700 negative reviews. Considering there’s so much frustration among people, it’s normal to assume there’s truth in their allegations.
C. Tricky Refunds
The 45-day buyer’s protection comes in handy when you notice the card has zero balance. But we aren’t sure if you will get a refund and how willing CardCash will be to help.
Conclusion – Is CardCash Legit Or A Scam?
After this extensive review, where do you stand? Do you think it’s a scam or a mismanaged organization making profits with people’s money?
Let us tell you what we think, and it’s important to consider that CardCash isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau. With a rating of less than 2 out of 5 and most people raising issues about disappearing balances, the least we can conclude is that it isn’t a trustworthy company.
But we won’t call it a scam because you can still use the gift cards within 45 days. However, it isn’t the ideal way to make gift card transactions, so choose other brands for better results and consumer safety.
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