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12.20.2010 / Get More out of your Gift Cards!

Over the past few years, gift cards have turned from a last minute gift to a must have in your gift giving arsenal. If you think about the person you are giving the card to, you can create an experience by giving your loved one a shopping trip at their favorite store or a chance to try a new restaurant or spa.

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

However, there are a few things that can help you get the most out of gift cards. We’ve done some research, and here are some tips that will help you out:

  • Keep them safe! According to one study done in 2009, at least 6% of the gift cards that are purchased aren’t used – mostly due to loss. If you get gift cards, put them all in one place until you get ready to use them – and to prevent theft, don’t make that place your wallet or your purse.
  • Plan your purchases – Using gift cards during sales are a great way to get more bang for your gift card buck. However, if you don’t see something you like wait until you find something you really want or need – wasting gift cards on something just to spend the money is like wasting money.
  • Get a card you don’t like? Trade with friends or use the card to buy a gift for someone who likes the store – then buy yourself something nice with your savings!
  • Finally, make sure you know your balance. If you do purchase something on a gift card but have a little bit left over, you can always use it on another purchase later. But before you go to make your second buy – check how much you have. If you haven’t written it down or can’t recall, most cards have either a number you can call to check the balance. Many retail store have areas on their website you can enter your gift card number to retrieve the balance as well.

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

Posted at 10:09 AM | Permalink
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