Ask Laz

How you can cash in — or do some good — with your unused gift cards

Joe says he’s got $40 worth of Blockbuster gift cards sitting around and wants to know if there’s any way to cash them in.

First, Hoarder of the Year Award goes to you, Joe, for still having those suckers around.

Blockbuster was acquired by Dish Network in 2011 for $320 million, with the idea being that Dish would use the brand for a Netflix-style DVD-by-mail or streaming-video service.

It didn’t work out. Dish closed down all Blockbuster stores in 2013, though a handful of franchised outlets have managed to cling to life in far-flung locations.

As for Blockbuster gift cards, they lost all value as of Jan. 5, 2014. So you’re out of luck, Joe.

But it’s worth noting that there are an estimated $1-billion worth of unused gift cards floating around at any given moment. What can be done with them?

For some tips, click the video below.


Got a question? Email me at And follow me on Twitter @Davidlaz.

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