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Gift Cards, not so great of a present after all....





LumberJack
All the hidden charges and the fact that people might forget to use them. These babies seem to be the biggest cash cow since interest was invented... how many of you have bought gift cards???


http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/12/23/consumers-giftcards.html?ref=rss

The Consumers' Association of Canada is recommending that shoppers give cash instead of buying gift cards, which often go unused or come with many restrictions for their recipients.

Canadians spent $1.8 billion on gift cards in 2006.Canadians spent $1.8 billion on gift cards in 2006.
(CBC)

"We recommend you forget about it completely and use cash," CAC spokesman Bruce Cran said.
bogger
They can be useful because they are less heartless than just cash, for example:

"I was going to buy you a Metallica CD, but I wasn't sure which you had and which you hadn't, so I got you a €20 gift voucher for you to go in and buy whichever you want. As long as it's metallica!"

This shows that I put thought into your present, instead of just giving money. And while this can be done with cash too, buying them vouchers forces them to buy that CD Twisted Evil
standready
First, I have never bought a gift card for someone. I have received a few. My feel was cold because I typically do not shop certain stores.

Gift cards have more cons than pros. Most of them have to be used within a certain amount of time or they lose value. Many people forget to use them. Billions went unused from last Christmas (more money in issuer's pocket).
Biggest con are the gift cards issued by credit card companies (American Express, Visa, etc.). Read card instructions very carefully, these are credit "like" cards. Besides penalities for not using within time limits, you MUST tell cashier how to apply to the gift card. If amount is processed over the amount on the card, it basically becomes a credit card. You receive a bill for balance due plus any interest and fees.
bogger
standready wrote:
Biggest con are the gift cards issued by credit card companies (American Express, Visa, etc.). Read card instructions very carefully, these are credit "like" cards. Besides penalities for not using within time limits, you MUST tell cashier how to apply to the gift card. If amount is processed over the amount on the card, it basically becomes a credit card. You receive a bill for balance due plus any interest and fees.


yeah, the credit card companies are definately the sneakiest on that one ^^
the-guide
That right, some gift cards from some companies may have hidden charges and some people might not use them if they get hard times to use but that not true for all companies.

Gift cards alway useful if you select the good one. You can give them what they’ve always wanted with gift card, even if you don’t know what it is. For example, Amazon gift cards can be used to redeem almost everything sold on Amazon.com. They're no hidden charges and I don't think that people will forget to use them.

In fact, if you’ve received an Amazon gift card, once you’ve entered the claim code on Amazon site, they’ll keep the balance in your account for you to use on future purchases.
Drawingguy
But is thoughtfulness the only advantage of a gift card? To me, they seem pretty useless in the face of money- they can expire, and the person can only buy from that particular retailer, as opposed to cash which never goes bad, and is accepted pretty much everywhere (unless you live with the barter system as the only way of economic trading...not sure where that would be). Besides, doesn't it cost more than 20 dollars to give a 20 dollar gift card? I mean, doesn't the store charge something?
bigdan
I think it's the thought that counts in any case.

I got two gift cards for Christmas, and was very happy to get them. One of them I will use to get a new Knights jersey when I next go to the specific store, the other I spent on discounted DVDs. Very Happy

I would never be disappointed with a giftcard. I can usually find something to buy with them. Wink
Afaceinthematrix
standready wrote:
First, I have never bought a gift card for someone. I have received a few. My feel was cold because I typically do not shop certain stores.

Gift cards have more cons than pros. Most of them have to be used within a certain amount of time or they lose value. Many people forget to use them. Billions went unused from last Christmas (more money in issuer's pocket).
Biggest con are the gift cards issued by credit card companies (American Express, Visa, etc.). Read card instructions very carefully, these are credit "like" cards. Besides penalities for not using within time limits, you MUST tell cashier how to apply to the gift card. If amount is processed over the amount on the card, it basically becomes a credit card. You receive a bill for balance due plus any interest and fees.


You simply have to be careful about what giftcards you buy. I work at a department store called Sears. We have giftcards. They expire in the year 3025 (so basically they never expire... and even if the gift card exists in 1017 years, it will have lost all value due to inflation). There are no penalties, no reductions, or anything like that. If you buy the gift card for $20, that $20 will stay there until you use it. If you buy something that costs $10, the other $10 dollars will stay on there. If you buy something that costs $30, you'll just pay the additional $10 like a normal purchase.
Afaceinthematrix
Drawingguy wrote:
But is thoughtfulness the only advantage of a gift card? To me, they seem pretty useless in the face of money- they can expire, and the person can only buy from that particular retailer, as opposed to cash which never goes bad, and is accepted pretty much everywhere (unless you live with the barter system as the only way of economic trading...not sure where that would be). Besides, doesn't it cost more than 20 dollars to give a 20 dollar gift card? I mean, doesn't the store charge something?


Not that I know of. I've purchased gift cards in the past and it's never cost more than the card. A $20 gift card has always cost me $20.
LumberJack
standready wrote:
First, I have never bought a gift card for someone. I have received a few. My feel was cold because I typically do not shop certain stores.

Gift cards have more cons than pros. Most of them have to be used within a certain amount of time or they lose value. Many people forget to use them. Billions went unused from last Christmas (more money in issuer's pocket).
Biggest con are the gift cards issued by credit card companies (American Express, Visa, etc.). Read card instructions very carefully, these are credit "like" cards. Besides penalities for not using within time limits, you MUST tell cashier how to apply to the gift card. If amount is processed over the amount on the card, it basically becomes a credit card. You receive a bill for balance due plus any interest and fees.


I haven't seen the credit cards that double as gift cards, scary :S
deanhills
LumberJack wrote:
All the hidden charges and the fact that people might forget to use them. These babies seem to be the biggest cash cow since interest was invented... how many of you have bought gift cards???


http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2007/12/23/consumers-giftcards.html?ref=rss

The Consumers' Association of Canada is recommending that shoppers give cash instead of buying gift cards, which often go unused or come with many restrictions for their recipients.

Canadians spent $1.8 billion on gift cards in 2006.Canadians spent $1.8 billion on gift cards in 2006.
(CBC)

"We recommend you forget about it completely and use cash," CAC spokesman Bruce Cran said.


Agreed. Cash is much much better. Unless the person you are giving the gift card has a specific interest in the store, or has indicated that he/she is a book worm and has a preference for a specific bookstore. But on a random basis not such a good idea and may be wasteful.
pmehta51
I don't really buy gift cards. I don't think that is cgreat idea. I agree with you. I rather give check or cash. I still don't understand idea of gift cards. I don't give gift cards or get gift cards. Why not buy something nice for someone? When someone is special enough we can spent enough time to buy something special. And if someone is not tht special than give check.
lagoon
I do not deal in gift cards. I think most people I know get the idea that they are useless, and that I much prefer cash...
Guelila
When Im receiving a gift, I personally prefer cash.
When Im sending a gift however, I tend to send gift cards rather than cash.. Confused

I think that most people would agree on cash being the more prefered option, but like others have stated before... it seems a little heartless to just give some one hard cold cash Laughing
RubySlasher
Never had a problem with gift cards expiring or anything. And they're rather fun, you can go into a fancy smancy store and you actually have a decent excuse for wanting to keep your purchase under a certain amount.
Also a 20 dollar mcdonalds card in your pocket makes you feel powerful, like you wield the existence of 15 dollar salads and a few 69 cent sodas.
Haelyn
Hmmm. I often get gift cards -- almost always for Chapters. I understand why. They want to get me a book, because they know I read alot. However -- as I read alot, they don't know which books I already have. It is safer to get me the card, let me chose a book, then worry about getting a book I already have. Smile
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