Can You Return Gift Cards?

Some retailers allow shoppers to return gift cards, but it depends.

Do you have a stash of unused gift cards gathering dust in your drawer? Maybe you received a gift card to a store you never shop at, or you purchased one on a whim and later regretted it. Whatever the reason, it's a common predicament. But fear not, because the chances of successfully returning that gift card may be higher than you think!

The process of returning a gift card is not always simple. Some stores are generous enough to let you return your gift card with a receipt, while others may only accept them if required by state law.

If you're holding onto an unused gift card, don't let it go to waste! With our latest guide, we've done the research for you by compiling a list of the top 14 stores and their gift card return policies. From the lenient to the strict, we'll explore the ins and outs of returning gift cards.

GiftYa Makes Returning + Exchanging Gift Cards Simple

Finding the right gift for someone can be difficult. But GiftYa eGift cards are perfect for any occasion! GiftYa offers hundreds of virtual gift cards for restaurants, retail stores, spas, and hotels around the country. Within seconds, you can send your loved one a GiftYa by text, link, or email to their favorite restaurant or shop along with a custom message. Once they receive it, they can upload it right to their debit card.

Give the gift card they don’t have to return! If you purchase a GiftYa card for a merchant that the recipient doesn’t frequent often, they can always swap it out for any other merchant in the GiftYa catalog. They can also cash it out and Zelle the money to their bank account if they would rather have the cash.

The result? GiftYa eliminates the hassle of having to head in-store to (attempt to) return the card.

Explore GiftYa digital gift cards >>

General Tips for Returning a Gift Card

Everything you need to know about returning a gift card
Follow these tips to make your gift card return as pain-free as possible. 

Check the Store's Return Policy

If you want to return a gift card, the first thing you should do is check the store’s return policy. 

Not all stores allow gift card returns, and some may only accept returns in certain circumstances. For example, some stores may allow returns if the gift card has not been used or if it was purchased within a certain time frame. Most stores require the original receipt or proof of purchase. 

You can usually find the gift card return policy on a store’s website or you can call their customer service line.

Make Sure it Hasn’t Already Been Used

Whether you purchased a gift card for yourself or for someone else, you should make sure it hasn’t been used. Most stores won't accept gift card returns if the card has been partially or fully redeemed. You can usually check online or in-store to see if a card has been used. 

Check Your State’s Refund Law

Did you know that some states require merchants to provide cash refunds for used gift cards? Each state differs according to the maximum amount of cash it requires retailers to refund. 

  • California: $9.99
  • Colorado: $5.00
  • Maine: $4.99
  • Massachusetts: $4.99
  • Montana: $4.99
  • New Jersey: $4.99
  • Oregon: $4.99
  • Rhode Island: $0.99
  • Vermont: $0.99
  • Washington: $4.99

In order to successfully redeem your card for cash, you must make sure that the remaining balance isn’t above a certain number. This number will vary from state to state. 

Find the Original Receipt

Hopefully, you kept the receipt for the gift card. Having a receipt will ensure a smooth return process. 

Prepare to Provide Identification

When returning a gift card, you may be asked to provide identification, such as a driver's license or passport. This ensures that the person returning the gift card is the rightful owner of the card.

Expect Different Refund Options

You might not always receive a full cash refund for the gift card. Depending on the store's return policy, you may receive store credit instead of a cash refund. Some stores may charge a restocking fee or deduct a processing fee from the refund amount too.

Consider Other Options

Even with a receipt and ID, you might not be able to return your gift card. But fret not, you have other options. You can sell the card online through a reputable reseller or use it to purchase gifts for friends and family members. 

1. Target

Can you return a Target gift card?

Target digital gift card.

Who doesn’t love shopping at Target? You can purchase almost anything you need here, from home decor to fresh groceries. Some Targets even offer a Starbucks inside. 

But unfortunately, shoppers who want to return their Target gift cards cannot return them for a cash refund except where required by law. 

Target digital gift card.

2. Panera

Can you return a Panera gift card?

Panera digital gift card.

Panera is the perfect spot for grabbing a quick meal with friends. This popular chain is known for its savory sandwiches, salads, soups, and pastries. Whether you’re in the mood for a hearty bowl of mac-and-cheese or a fresh Caesar salad, you can head to Panera for a quick pick-me-up. 

If you have a Panera gift card you want to return, you will not be able to get a refund unless you’re in a state where it’s required by law for them to refund you. 

Panera digital gift card.

3. Insomnia Cookies

Can you return an Insomnia Cookies gift card?

Insomnia Cookies digital gift card.

The next time those late-night cravings hit, you can order some sweet treats from Insomnia Cookies. Insomnia Cookies is open until 3 am and offers delivery service straight to your door. Fresh cookies, brownies, ice cream sandwiches, and cakes await you! 

Do you have an Insomnia Cookies gift card you don’t plan on using? Unless required by law, you will not be able to return your Insomnia Cookies gift card. However, you can always surprise a friend or family member with some fresh cookies! 

Insomnia Cookies digital gift card.

4. Lyft

Can you return a Lyft gift card?

Lyft digital gift card.

Whether you need a ride to the airport or you’re heading home after a night out at the bars, Lyft is there to help you get to where you need to be. This popular ride-hailing app makes it easy to schedule a ride on the fly or at a pre-set time. In addition to its ride-hailing services, Lyft offers motorized scooters, a bicycle-sharing program, rental cars, and even food delivery. 

But, for whatever reason, you might realize you aren’t going to use your Lyft gift card. So, can you return a Lyft gift card? Unless required by law, you will not be able to return a Lyft gift card. 

Lyft digital gift card.


Can you return a TOMS gift card?

TOMS digital gift  card.

TOMS is known for its comfortable shoes for men and women. You can find sneakers, dress shoes, boots, slip-ons, and more online or in one of their many stores. When the company started, it donated one pair of shoes for every shoe purchased. Nowadays, it donates a third of its profits to “grassroots good.” 

Do you have a TOMS gift card lying around? Unfortunately, your gift card cannot be exchanged for cash, unless required by law. 

TOMS digital gift card.

6. Express

Can you return an Express gift card?

Express digital gift card.

Express is known for its stylish, high-end men’s and women’s apparel. Whether you need a new dress for a job interview or a new pair of shoes for hitting the bars, you can find high-quality clothing and shoes at Express. 

If you have an Express gift card you don’t plan to use, you will not be able to return it unless required by law. 

Express digital gift card.

7. Giant Food

Can you return a Giant Food gift card?

Giant Food digital gift card.

Giant Food is a popular grocery store that offers everything you need for a delicious meal. Whether you need to stock up on snacks or you want to try out a new recipe, you can find everything you need and more at Giant Food. 

Do you have a Giant Food gift card you don’t want to use? You can return the card if you live in a state that has a cash-back policy. However, depending on the state, you may only get a certain amount of cashback. 

Giant Food digital gift card.

8. JCPenney

Can you return a JCPenney gift card?

JCPenney digital gift card.

JCPenney is your one-stop shop for clothing, accessories, home decor, beauty supplies, and more! 

Do you have a JCPenney gift card that’s been lying around, unused? Unfortunately, JCPenney gift cards are not returnable. 

But with so many great items offered, it’s easy to find a fun gift at JCPenney for your loved one. You might even find something for yourself and use your gift card after all!

JCPenney digital gift card.

9. Texas Roadhouse

Can you return a Texas Roadhouse gift card?

Texas Roadhouse digital gift card.

Texas Roadhouse is a popular steakhouse that is known for its hearty steak, rib, chicken, and seafood dishes. Some of their most popular dishes include the Cactus Bloom onion ring plate, USDA Choice Sirloin, and Grilled BBQ Chicken.

Texas Roadhouse is great for any occasion. But if this isn’t your kind of spot and you received a gift card for it, it’s fair to want to know if you can return it. Unfortunately, unless you live in a state where stores are required to allow gift card returns, you may not be able to redeem it for cash. 

Texas Roadhouse digital gift card.

10. Sunoco

Can you return a Sunoco gift card?

Sunoco digital gift card.

Sunoco is a popular gas station that has locations all around the country. There’s a pretty high chance that you’ve refueled at a Sunoco at least once. It’s also a great spot for grabbing some snacks and drinks for a long road trip. 

If you have an unused Sunoco gift card, you might not be able to redeem it unless required by law. If you are able to redeem it, you may not get the full cash value back. 

Sunoco digital gift card.

11. PacSun

Can you return a PacSun gift card?

PacSun digital gift card.

PacSun is a popular apparel brand among teenagers and young adults. It’s the go-to spot for fun clothing and accessories that follow the latest trends. You can find a wide selection of swimwear, loungewear, activewear, accessories, and more!

If you have an unused PacSun gift card, you might be wondering if you can return it. Why keep it if you aren’t going to use it? Unfortunately, you won’t be able to return your PacSun gift card unless you live in a state that requires it by law. However, you can always use your gift card to purchase some new clothes and accessories as a gift for someone else!

PacSun digital gift card.

12. Michaels

Can you return a Michaels gift card?

Michaels digital gift card.

If you’re a big arts and crafts person or you are a professional artist, Michaels has everything you need for your next big project. You can find high-quality canvases, frames, brushes, yarns, sewing machines, home decor, and more at this popular retail chain!

Unfortunately, Michaels does not offer cash refunds for gift cards unless required by law. But with so many great products, you’re sure to find one to purchase with your card as a gift for the arts and crafts lover in your life!

Michaels digital giftcard.

13. H&M

Can you return an H&M gift card?

H&M digital gift card.

H&M is known for its fashionable apparel offered at a low price. Women’s and men’s apparel, accessories, home decor, beauty products, and more are offered in-stores and online. If you have an H&M gift card you don’t want to use, you won’t be able to return it unless required by law. 

H&M digital gift card.

So can you return gift cards?

It depends. If you’re ever unsure if a store accepts gift card exchanges, you can usually find their policy on their website. If they do accept returns, they will likely require a receipt. That’s why it’s essential to always keep when, whether you’re purchasing a gift card for yourself or someone else.

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.

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