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Walmart Buys Competitors' Gift Cards

Walmart is offering to buy gift cards from 200 other merchants in exchange for Walmart gift cards, according to The Washington Post.

In a test program that started on Christmas Day, Walmart will exchange gift cards from from retailers, airlines and restaurants through its partner in the test, CardCash.com. The Walmart cards don't expire and can be used in-store and online.

The retail giant buys its competitors' gift cards at a discount. For example, for cards from Target the program pays more than 95 percent of the card's face value, dropping to 90 percent for Staples and 85 percent for Gap. Amazon gift cards go for up to 95 percent of face value. In some cases, Walmart will pay as little as 70 percent of the face value. However, potential card-swappers can see how much Walmart offers before committing themselves to a swap.

Walmart didn't say how long the test program will last, but it could become permanent if it's successful. "We recognized that this was an opportunity," said Walmart spokesman Ravi Jariwala, adding that Walmart doesn't have specific metrics to evaluate the program but will watch how shoppers react.

Walmart gift cards are the most sought-after on CardCash, the country's largest gift card exchange website, according to CardCash CEO Elliot Bohm. CardCash didn't disclose financial terms of its deal with Walmart for the program.

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