I recently bought a gift card for an online shopping account, and though I have registered the card with the account, I have yet to actually buy anything with it. Thus right now I have money sitting in my account, ready to be expended, and already committed, in the sense that though I haven’t purchased any goods, I have already purchased them - since the only direct purchase involved in all of this (that of the gift card) has already been made.

Say it’s been a year since my purchase and the money is still sitting in my account unused, and I’ve been itching to use it up, since I already paid. What would fit the blank if I framed my sentence thus? “I want to _______ the money I have on that account.”

I’m looking for something a bit more sophisticated than “make use of” - maybe even jargonistic, if such jargon exists (say in finance, business, etc.).

  • 1
    Given the context, spend would fit.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 3:38
  • Sounds like the balance on your gift card is burning a hole in your pocket.
    – remarkl
    Commented Mar 5, 2019 at 4:25
  • redeem is often used for this sort of store credit system.
    – Phil Sweet
    Commented Aug 2, 2019 at 20:35
  • 1
    The correct term is spend. The money in the gift card account is as much your money as money you have in your current account, it's just that it is only accessible via the card and, therefore, can only be spent with the organisation that issued the card. It is, in some ways, analagous to grant money given to an organisation for a specific purpose (buying sports kit for example). If a community football team had such a grant it could not be spent on grounds maintenance but when they bought new shorts, shirts and boots with the grant money they would still be spending it.
    – BoldBen
    Commented Aug 3, 2019 at 1:23
  • gift cards are usually given to others so I would not expect you to spend it.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 30, 2019 at 19:15

3 Answers 3



to pay out : expend especially from a fund


To “make use of” something (available to you) is to consume it.

“I want to consume the money I have on that account.”



1.2 Use up (a resource)

‘Because when you add up the total tax packages that the Republicans passed last year and this year, it literally consumes the entire surplus, and the winners turn out to be the wealthiest people.’


I think you want to "apply" or "utilize" the money in your account. If you want to use it all up - you might then want to "exhaust" the money in the account.

“I want to utilize the money I have on that account.”




  • 3
    "utilize" is often used when "used" works just as well, and this seems like such a case to me. Commented Apr 4, 2019 at 16:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.