You’ve probably seen those signs at many merchants that say that gift cards are non-refundable and non-returnable. That’s not always the case though. In some states, when you have a few bucks left on your gift card, you’re allowed to just cash out the remaining balance.
In California you can cash out a gift card if the balance is less than $10. In Colorado you can cash out gift cards that have $5 or less. In Massachusetts you only get 10% of face value. In New York, you’re stuck with whatever balance you have.
Here’s the full list of 11 states (HT: noonradar that tweeted the pic) that allow you to cash out your gift cards and the balance requirement. If you’re within the threshold, the merchant is required by state law to redeem the gift card for cash upon request.
Some stores might let you return gift cards. Target for example will allow you to return Target Visa cards with an original receipt. However, you can’t return third party gift cards.