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  • Secrets Of A Gift Card

    [caption id="attachment_4828" align="alignleft" width="186" caption="Gift Card Ideas"]Gift Card[/caption]

    With the holidays approaching, it's time to start thinking of gift ideas. If you are one to go in the "gift card" route, then take a look at these 10 Tips before buying them!

    Gift cards—those convenient plastic slivers that ensure someone can buy something they actually like—will be among the hottest holiday gifts this season. More than 57% of consumers said they’d give a gift card, up from nearly 46% last year, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual holiday survey. And who can blame them? Gift cards are practical, convenient and pretty much error-proof. But before you stuff this year’s stockings with pre-paid iTunes cards, there are some things you ought to know.

    In holidays past, consumers complained of short expiration dates, hidden restrictions and confusing rules. But thanks to the sweeping measures of the Credit CARD Act of 2009, store cards can no longer expire earlier than five years, and if an amount is added to the card it’s good for five years more. Retailers also can’t put restrictions on card use and must print all rules clearly on the back of the card. Still, there are different rules for cards bearing a MasterCard, Visa, American Express or Discover logo. These gift cards can only be used where accepted and can still charge “maintenance” or “inactivity” fees when not redeemed within one year of purchase, though the new rules cap the amount.

    Promotional Cards Don't Make Great Gifts

    Many businesses offer a gift cards as incentives. Like a $50 gift card with the purchase of a video game system or a free $25 gift card if you spend $100. There are different rules for these cards since they’re considered promotional items. Some have restrictions or are only good for a short period after the holidays are over.  Give these cards with caution or use them yourself.

    Recyle And Reuse

    Got any unused gift cards lying around? Sell them for cash or swap for one from a different store. Sites like and Plastic Jungle pay up to 90% of the original value depending on the card and sell cards for up to 20% off face value. Gift cards here range from national and supermarkets to travel companies, so it’s possible to give a hotel stay or trip for less than retail.

    Turn Store Credit Into A Gift

    Many stores issue refunds in the form of a gift card. Turn that $12.86 store credit into a gift by adding value to the card and sliding it into an envelope. Gift card exchange sites accept merchandise credit as well, making it easy to turn an unwanted purchase into a much wanted gift.

    Read more at Forbes


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