Visa MasterCard Discovery

Pitfalls of holiday gift cards

[Tuesday, January 18th, 2011]

A gift card sounds convenient for last minute holiday shopping. Retailers are fond of gift cards, especially when the recipients lose those cards or forget to make full use of them. Interestingly, a survey shows that 27% of the recipients of gift cards haven`t redeemed them. This number is up from 19%, which was from the previous year. A whopping 8 billion dollar amount was lost by consumers who didn`t redeem their gift cards, lost the cards, or has expired.

Another problem with gift cards is that they come with hidden fees. Therefore both the givers and or the gift card recipients should be aware of these hidden charges, in order not to be ripped off. House brand cards are sold by some of the major retailers like Walmart, Best Buy and Target. Some of the better cards include the Walmart Gift Card, which costs 50 dollars to buy, and has a value of 50 dollars which doesn`t expire. Free shipping is offered by Walmart via US Postal Service for cards which are purchased online. The delivery time is between 7 – 10 days. Expedited shipping is also available for an extra charge of 15 dollars.

Additional charges however, are heavily levied on gift cards from American Express, Visa and MasterCard. The actual price of a Visa gift card valued at 50 dollars is 53 dollar. For the virtual gift card purchased online, the additional charge could be even higher.

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