01.08.2010 / Get More Out of Your Gift Cards!

Gift cards have become one of the most popular presents around this time of year. You will probably get at least a few, and chances are good that you will give a couple, too. Here are some simple tips for getting the most out of your cards at your favorite stores.

"Gift cards have become one of the most popular presents around this time of year."

Use it fast!

Believe it or not, many gift cards have expiration dates or they come with monthly fees that eat away at the value on the card. If you get a gift card for a retailer you don’t normally visit, trade it with a friend or put it up for sale online. Don’t let it sit in a drawer until it loses its value. 

Protect yourself from loss or theft.

Make copies of the front and back of your cards! Save the card number, any PIN numbers and the customer service phone number, and then store your copy someplace secure. If your card goes missing, call customer service as soon as you can.

Know your balance.

Some stores will reject a gift card if it has too little value left on it. If you need to make a purchase that is greater than the value left on the card, tell the clerk exactly how much is on the card. Then make up the rest of the purchase in cash, credit or debit. If you don’t know the value on a card, call customer service to monitor how much it is worth.

Consumer Reports has a great overview of gift cards, available here

Do you purchase gift cards for the holidays or have any tips that you can share?

Posted at 11:22 AM | Permalink
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