Smart Buying

Rush to Redeem Toys R Us Gift Cards Before Liquidation

The bankrupt retailer is going out of business and will honor gift cards for Toys R Us and Babies R Us only until April 21. But you also have a Bed Bath & Beyond option... until April 5.

If you're carrying Toys R Us gift cards or Babies R Us gift cards, you only have a few weeks to spend them ahead of the bankrupt retailer's planned liquidation. Or until April 5, to take advantage of another option.

The New Jersey-based retail chain announced in mid-March it will be closing all of its U.S. and Canadian stores over the next few months. At the same time, company officials said gift cards to Toys R Us and Babies R Us would be honored only until April 21.

But another retailer ponied up a different option this week. Bed Bath & Beyond said it has teamed up with online gift card retailer CardCash to exchange Toys R Us or Babies R Us gift cards for a reduced Bed Bath & Beyond or buybuy BABY -- a division of Bed Bath & Beyond -- eGift card. It's at a reduced rate, however, according to CNN; $20 -- the minimum -- Toys R Us gift cards net $12.84 for a BB&B eGiftcard (it will be emailed within one business day of redemption and can be used online or at a bricks-and-mortar Bed Bath & Beyond). Here's how.

Likely your best bet: Get to a Toys R Us or Babies R Us store and redeem your store gift card for full value.

Industry experts are encouraging cardholders to spend down those gift cards as soon as possible, rather than be stuck with worthless gift cards in their wallets.

"Your best bet is to spend gift cards right away," says Tom Olk, vice president of risk at Raise, an online reseller of gift cards. "Otherwise, if there is value left after the company physically closes, you become an unsecured creditor. In the repayment waterfall, you will be placed behind any secured credit holders, such as debt holders or loan providers. As a result, you would receive only pennies on the dollar...if you even receive that much."

Toys R Us hasn't fixed a date to its shutdown of its 735 U.S. stores. It filed motions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking approval of the liquidation.

Toys R Us has been operating under bankruptcy protection since September 2017.

The company's CEO, David Brandon, told staffers the company will keep operating the Babies R US baby registry as well as the online Babies R Us store as it seeks a buyer.

Most Popular

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of
careers

Dying Careers You May Want to Steer Clear Of

It’s tough to change, but your job could depend on it. Be flexible in your career goals – and talk with your kids about their own aspirations, because…
September 13, 2021
5 Top Dividend Aristocrats to Beef Up Your Portfolio
dividend stocks

5 Top Dividend Aristocrats to Beef Up Your Portfolio

The 65-member Dividend Aristocrats are among the market's best sources of reliable, predictable income. But these five stand out as truly elite.
September 14, 2021
7 Best Commodity Stocks to Play the Coming Boom
commodities

7 Best Commodity Stocks to Play the Coming Boom

These seven commodity stocks are poised to take advantage of a unique confluence of events. Just mind the volatility.
September 8, 2021

Recommended

Retirees, Transform Your House Using Smart Home Technology
home

Retirees, Transform Your House Using Smart Home Technology

Going high-tech allows you to control your lights, locks and many appliances with voice activation and can help you age in place. Here's what to consi…
September 22, 2021
Yes, Your 401(k) Has Its Perks, But It’s Not the Only Way to Save
how to save money

Yes, Your 401(k) Has Its Perks, But It’s Not the Only Way to Save

Tax diversification can play a vital role in stretching your retirement savings. Here’s how to achieve the flexibility you need with a three-bucket sy…
September 20, 2021
15 Things Retirees Should Buy at Costco
Making Your Money Last

15 Things Retirees Should Buy at Costco

From its house brand Kirkland Signature lineup to name brands and hidden gems, the warehouse club offers bargains aimed at mature shoppers.
September 8, 2021
17 Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Raising Money-Smart Kids

17 Free or Cheap Things to Do With Your Kids During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We’ve got lots of kid-friendly activities to do at home that will keep your family safe and your finances sound.
September 8, 2021