Did you get a gift card for Christmas? As popular as they’ve become, I’m guessing most of us did! But most of us have also lost a gift card, received a gift card to a store where we’d never shop, or ended up wasting some of the value of a card (I don’t know about you, but it seems like after I purchase what I want there’s always still an annoyingly odd amount left on the card that never ends up getting used). Personally, though, I love gift cards—it’s like getting the gift of shopping! To make using them the best experience possible, here are four ways to avoid potential gift card problems:

1. Register

Most retailers will replace your stolen or lost store gift card, but only if you have registered your gift card in your name. Some retailers will charge you a small replacement fee, but that’s better than losing out on the entire value of your lost or stolen card! So as soon as you receive a gift card, contact the retailer to find out about registering it. I also take a photo of both the front and back of my gift card and save it on my computer or in my email. Better safe than sorry!

2. Spend the full amount

When possible, spend the full amount so you aren’t left with $2.13 on your card, which you are more likely to forget about or discard because you think the card is empty. If I have a bank or credit card gift card (like a VISA gift card) with a small balance left on it, I buy an Amazon.com gift card for the exact amount of the remaining gift card balance. Then, I apply this small amount towards my next purchase on Amazon.

3. Sell your unwanted gift card

If you don’t think you’ll ever use your gift card (for example, you’re a vegan who was gifted a $500 gift card for Omaha Steaks), consider selling or donating. There are dozens of online sites that will buy your gift card for a percentage of its value (Cardpool, CardCash, Raise). To compare how much money you’ll get for your unwanted gift card, refer to the price comparison tables on GiftCardGranny. PlasticJungle is a gift card site that many Krazy Coupon Ladies have used in the past to sell their unwanted gift cards. However, Plastic Jungle has recently changed their site and no longer buys unwanted gift cards for cash. Instead, the site gives you the option to turn your gifts cards into Best Buy rewards points, exchange them for United Airline miles, or swap them for a CVS gift card.

4. Donate your unwanted gift card

If you are feeling charitable, you can also donate your unused or partly used gift cards to charity. You can send your gift card to Giftcard Giver, which then combines them with other donated gift cards to donate to various charities or buys items with the gift cards and then donates those items to charity. You can also check with your favorite charitable organization to see if they accept gift card donations. Make sure to get a receipt for your donations, because you will usually be able to get a tax deduction for the value of the donated gift card.

4 Ways to Get the Most Out of the Gift Card You Got for Christmas