It never fails that just when you think you are done with your holiday gift shopping, you suddenly remember one more person you’d like to give a gift to during the holiday season. You are certainly not the only one who has experienced this last-minute gift crisis and retailers have long been providing an easy way out.
Why Gift Cards Rock
Gift cards are an ideal gift because the size is always perfect, the gift is always appreciated, and you can be assured you are not buying the wrong thing. Gift cards were created to let the gift recipient have the power to buy what they want when they want it.
Gift cards are now available from most large retailers and from credit card providers. They are available in a wide array of increments and a good majority of them can be purchased at your local mall, grocery store, or online. There is no need to wrap a gift card. You can slide them into holiday cards or purchase a gift card holder.
What You Should Know About Gift Cards
For as great as gift cards are, there can be some things to watch out for when selecting the perfect gift card. First, it can help to know what your intended recipient enjoys so you can buy a relevant card. You can choose gift cards from major department stores, retailers, grocery stores, movie theaters, and restaurants just to name a few categories. You can also purchase gift cards that are only useable online. If you are unsure of the preferences of your recipient, you can buy a gift card that uses the Visa or Mastercard logo which allow people to use them as they would a credit card, debit card, or cash.
Not all gift cards are created the same way. Since their popularity has skyrocketed, businesses that provide gift cards have added some provisions you may not realize. Most gift cards are available for purchase for face value, meaning you pay $25 for a $25 gift card with no other fees attached. Some cards, typically the credit card-like ones, will have additional fees for purchasing and loading the card with money amounts.
Another thing to watch out for is the expiration date of the card. Most gift cards don’t expire but some will. Others will also charge fees for inactivity which can eat away at the available balance remaining on the card.
Be sure to read the disclosure statements that accompany the gift card or ask the store clerk what the details are concerning use and fees for the gift card before making your choice. Gift cards can be used to supplement other gifts and are a good option for sending in the mail to far away loved ones.