Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Gift Card Scam

No I'm not talking about hackers who've exploited them at the checkouts. It's the stores that sell them.

"$41 Billion In Gift Cards Haven't Been Redeemed Since 2005"

I'd never ever buy them based on my own experience with them.

The wife's mother bought us a $100 gift card years ago. Before I could use it "Today's Man" stopped accepting them after filing for bankruptcy protection. Two years later after filling out lots of forms and after the first in line were paid by the bankruptcy courts, there was no money left for the gift card holders. We were stiffed. $100 wasted!

Here's something that may surprise most folks.. CASH STILL WORKS.

Rather then giving a store's gift card, put cash in your own greeting card. (a) Cash is accepted everywhere. (b) Your not stuck buying something in the store where it came from. (c) Cash doesn't expire. (d) It doesn't come with draw down fees either. (e) Scammers can't copy serial numbers before you even receive it like they can with gift cards. (f) Stores will give you change for cash. With gift cards many will not pay you the difference between the card value and your purchase price below the card's value. (g) Cash doesn't cost 15% more then it's face value (which many gift cards do).

Even more aggravating, the article says some states, like New York, stole confiscated the unredeemed money and only gave a tiny fraction back to the owners who bought them.

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