Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Do You Purchase Gift Cards?

I do believe that about every store, restaurant and company now has a gift card that you can purchase. You see them in grocery stores, drug stores and about every where else you go. If you own a company you can even print your own gift cards.

Have you ever purchased a gift card? Have you ever been given a gift card? Are you being ripped off?

I have purchased gift cards to give as Christmas presents for several years. I have also received gift cards. They are an easy gift and most of the time you can't go wrong by giving someone a gift card, especially if you know that the person frequents that particular establishment or you don't know what to get for that person.

But did you know that companies love it when you do purchase a gift card? Well, of course they do. They make money from your purchase in more ways than you may think.

Here are some interesting stats about just how much money those companies are making:
1. Average amount of unused gift cards by household: $300
2. Value of unredeemed gift cards per year: hang on to your seat for this one, $ 6 billion
3. Average amount left unspent on gift cards: $2.30 (That is each gift card sold folks not just one.)

What if you get a gift card and for whatever reason you don't want or can't use it? Guess what, you can go online and sell it. No you won't get the face value but at least you won't waste all of it. There is even a National Gift Card Exchange Day. It is set as December 26. (I had to laugh at this tidbit of information.) You can go to and check it out.

Actually you don't have to wait until December 26 to get rid of that card you don't want. Check out these sites any time of the year:

For those gift cards that you get you might consider donating them to a charity. I am sure they would be delighted to get them.

Some things to check before purchasing a gift card:
1. Is there a usage fee?
2. Is there an expiration date?
3. Does the value drop each month?
4. Is there a fee for not using?

You may be surprised at what all the gift card company can do to get your money. Be sure to read any information available before your purchase. And, be sure to read the fine print on the back side of the card. 

If you have had a bad experience with gift cards you can voice your complaint by sharing your information:
On this same site you can also sign a petition to stop the unjust actions of some of the companies selling these cards.

All-in-all, in my opinion, gift cards are still an excellent gift to give.


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