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Walmart will take your unwanted holiday gift cards

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Your Gap card just became an Xbox game

Mike Kalasnik via Flickr

Walmart is making a play for your gift cards, testing a program that lets you exchange cards from more than 200 other stores for a Walmart card. The Walmart card, notably, will be worth a fraction of the value of the original: 95 percent for Amazon, 90 percent for Staples, and down to 70 percent for other stores.

The cards will be worth a fraction of the value of the original.

Every year Americans get huge numbers of gift cards and then proceed not to spend them, either forgetting about them or deciding they’re too much of a hassle. According to the consultancy CEB TowerGroup, about $1 billion worth of gift cards will go unused this year.

For the test program, Walmart is partnering with CardCash, the largest gift card exchange. Cards must be exchanged online, though the credit can be used both online and in stores. The financial terms of the partnership weren’t disclosed. If Walmart decides the program is successful, it says it could be made permanent.