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Can a gift card buy rewards?

By Janna Herron ·
Monday, March 26, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

The holiday season is long past, and you're stuck with a gift card or two from stores you never visit. U.S. Bank has a solution for you.

The credit card issuer last week introduced a program with online gift card reseller Plastic Jungle that allows FlexPerks Travel Rewards Visa Signature credit card holders to exchange gift cards for rewards points.

This is how it works. Cardholders visit the promotion center of the credit card's website, enter the gift card details (such as retailer, card number and value) and wait for an offer from Plastic Jungle. Simply click to accept the offer, and the rewards points show up on your account in two business days.

It's worth noting that Plastic Jungle doesn't give you the full value of the gift card. (Otherwise, the site wouldn't make money.) You can get up to 92 percent of card's value, which is determined by demand for that type of card, seasonality and how much is on the card, according to Plastic Jungle's website.

U.S. Bank's FlexPerks Travel Rewards, in turn, can be redeemed for travel on more than 150 airlines, merchandise, statement credits and, of course, gift cards.

It should be mentioned that U.S. consumers also can trade in their gift cards at Plastic Jungle for a check, gift card or PayPal deposit at any time. So, if you don't have a U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards credit card, you still have options.

In February, United Continental unveiled a program similar to U.S. Bank's. Frequent-flier members of the airline could trade in unused store gift cards for miles. The program accepts cards with at least $25 in value from more than 60 retailers including Barnes & Noble, Pottery Barn and Home Depot.

Would you trade in a gift card for rewards points or miles?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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Plastic Card Holders
March 28, 2012 at 10:35 am

these cards are necessarily brief to a beautiful love