The same thing happens whenever I pick up a gift card on the street. It goes in my pocket and is carried home where I either call the number on the back for a balance or go to a website and punch in the numbers. Often they have been run over or damaged in some other way. Shortly after the holidays I found a Sears card in which the laminated front had completely come apart from the back due to being in the snow for quite a while. After finding out it had a $20 balance I took it to our local store where the nice salesperson immediately exchanged it for a new one. Too bad Walmart won't do the same. No swipe, no cash. Ugh.
Two days ago after running an errand at the university Littlest and I took a side stroll over to the parking meters where the snow had recently melted. The ground yielded six quarters and a few dimes but the exciting find was a gift card. It was nearly two hours before I could log on to discover that the balance on the card was $1.48. Not the $100 that I was hoping for but better than nothing! I've found countless cards while numismatizing. They have bought gas for cars, burgers at fast food restaurants, groceries and a few items of clothing.
Side note: Littlest is ruthless when it comes to finding and pocketing coins. She doesn't give them up to me. They go home in her pockets where I suspect they eventually end up in Eris' washing machine.
$1.48 gift card