The 7 Store Gift Cards You Should Use ASAP (Before It’s Too Late)

May 12, 2016 by Kyle

(Updated 10/04/17) Having you ever cleaned out your purse or wallet only to find an old gift card to a business that doesn’t exist anymore? If you have, you know it’s a pretty sickening feeling. It’s with this in mind that I want to help you avoid this “gift card foul” in the future. Here are the retailers that are currently in, or re-emerging, from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, or worse yet, about to shutter their doors forever. If you have any gift cards for these stores, use them NOW!

Sports Authority Gift Card


On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, Aeropostale filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in a New York court. Aero is going to close 113 of their stores nationwide and all of their stores in Canada.

As of this posting, they are still accepting gift cards both online and in-store. If you have one burning a hole in your pocket, you’d be wise to use it before it’s too late. If at some point down the road, they stop accepting gift cards, you can file a claim to try and get your money by clicking here.

American Apparel

American Apparel has just recently emerged from bankruptcy and is operating normally again, this includes their gift cards as they’re still being accepted. How long will they be around this time? Only time will tell, but you might want to consider using your gift card, if you have one, just in case.

Hancock Fabrics

Hancock Fabrics has made the decision to shutter ALL of their stores and website. While they’re no longer selling gift cards, they are still accepting them, so use them NOW. They are only accepting them in-store, not online. As of this writing, you probably only have 2-3 weeks before they liquidate all of their inventory and are gone forever.

Pacific Sunwear (PacSun)

On 4/07/16, PacSun filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and they are looking to re-organize and re-emerge a financially stronger company in the upcoming months. For the time being, they are selling and accepting their gift cards. Use ’em if you got ’em. If you miss the chance to use yours, you can file a claim to hopefully be reimbursed by clicking here.

Sports Authority

Back on 4/02/16, Sports Authority filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Then on 4/27, they abandoned the idea of restructuring via chapter 11, and were looking for a suitable buyer. That didn’t happen, so now they are shuttering all 460 stores and selling their inventory to a group of liquidators. Use those gift cards quickly or risk loosing them forever.

As of this writing, they are still accepting Sports Authority gift cards both online and in-store. You have until 6/28/16 to use them, both online and in-store. If you missed your chance to redeem your gift card, you can file a claim here and try to get your money back.

Sports Chalet

The folks at Sports Chalet started the process of closing all of their retail locations on April 16, 2016. You have until May 31, 2016 to use any gift cards you might still have in your wallet. You have to use your gift card in-store only as they are no longer accepting online orders. If you’re unable to visit a Sports Chalet before this date, you can transfer your gift card balances to a gift card from one of their sister stores, Eastern Mountain Sports or Bob’s Stores through July 29th, 2016. To transfer your balance, contact customer service at (888) 801-9162 and an agent will assist you.

Radio Shack

Radio Shack has long been a running joke as to how they were still in business. Well, it turns out that as of March 31, 2015, they are no longer accepting gift cards. But alas, all hope is not lost if you still have one of these relics in your wallet. Simply go to and file a claim by December 2, 2016.

No guarantees, but definitely worth a shot. When it comes to getting your money back, gift cards bought directly from Radio Shack have priority over gift cards that were issued as store credit.

Bonus: Sears & Kmart

Does anyone hear that noise? Sounds like a very faint heartbeat. Also known as your local Sears and/or Kmart location. They just recently announced they were closing another 78 locations. Better start using your gift cards as you don’t want to be stuck with them someday as all they’ll be good for is scraping ice off your windshield on a bitterly cold morning.

Happy savings.

By Kyle James


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Joe Helfrich
Joe Helfrich

Sports Authority went Chapter 13 yesterday and will be shutting down.

John the economist
John the economist

Use cash!!!


John the economist, gift cards are accepted like cash!