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Old 01-01-2016, 07:17 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Default "Gift Cards".....

In another thread someone mentioned getting a gift card for the holidays.. I have not had one for a very long time..

I have used them for gifts for some people on occasion.. Mostly it has worked out that the cards I gave have been from gas/inconvenience stores as that was the best fit for these people needs and use... Besides, I think that kind of card may have some more security, and less strings than other options... Besides, I know they will get used up quickly...

So to my question/concerns.... I suspect.. Many department and other major stores that have cards available have a lot of strings attached.. That being they expire, and a lot of other hassles to use them..

I know in recent years there has been legislation and rule changes in how cards are issued and how they can be used.. But I suspect you have to "use it or loose it" reasonably quickly...

Anyone with experience lately ??

Take care..
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Old 01-01-2016, 08:15 PM
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The reasons for some of these changes is there is a huge amount of fraud with gift cards - especially ones that can be purchased/used on-line.

The only ones we give are for a local chain of mini-marts (Sheetz) that everyone uses and I never saw any expiration or other rules.

I usually get one or two Amazon gift cards which I use for Kindle books - what's nice about them is as soon as I get one I enter it on-line in my amazon account - then is shows the balance there and I have it set to automatically use my gift card balance when I buy a book.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyobuckaroo View Post
In another thread someone mentioned getting a gift card for the holidays.. I have not had one for a very long time..

I have used them for gifts for some people on occasion.. Mostly it has worked out that the cards I gave have been from gas/inconvenience stores as that was the best fit for these people needs and use... Besides, I think that kind of card may have some more security, and less strings than other options... Besides, I know they will get used up quickly...

So to my question/concerns.... I suspect.. Many department and other major stores that have cards available have a lot of strings attached.. That being they expire, and a lot of other hassles to use them..

I know in recent years there has been legislation and rule changes in how cards are issued and how they can be used.. But I suspect you have to "use it or loose it" reasonably quickly...

Anyone with experience lately ??

Take care..
I get gift cards quite a bit since many things I am interested in Just are not available locally or they would not understand what I wanted... Barnes noble, Amazon, Home Depot, Lowes. I was just up at the lake( we don't have a HD) and I used a card that I got last Christmas .
None of this have expectation dates or any restrictions that I have encounter. Heck one time my daughter from out of town send me a Walmart gift card and same thing. No troubles at all.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:38 AM
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We use gift cards on regular basis here. This is they way we do utilize them. First my wife works at Kroger and sometimes employees get 4 times the rewards for buying gift cards. So when she buys a $25 gift card she saves .10 a gallon. So she buys the cards we know we will use like Subway, Papa Murphy's, Jo Ann Fabrics. Cabela's or Gander Mountain, Amazon, Lowes, Menards, Walmart, and if we will be traveling something like Cracker Barrel or fast food. The kids all got gift cards this year for Christmas and loved them. Two of three have completely used up their cards. We have had cards given to us that have been a few years old and they still work.

I am not sure but I thought the government made it mandatory that gift cards do not expire. Something like a Visa or Mastercard can still charge you various fees but retail can not.

We thought of buying gift cards and saving them for tough times but figured by then the money on them would not be worth anything or the business would have gone belly up.

Our best secret which is now out is if we know we want to go on vacation and not sure if we could afford it is to plan our trip, buy gift cards as we have the money for food and lodging then when we are ready to go it is like going for free.
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Old 01-02-2016, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Ciderman View Post
Our best secret which is now out is if we know we want to go on vacation and not sure if we could afford it is to plan our trip, buy gift cards as we have the money for food and lodging then when we are ready to go it is like going for free.
I like that idea!
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Old 01-02-2016, 04:40 PM
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I use gift cards to get around the SSI rules. You can only have $2,000 total in your bank accounts. I have them for King Soopers (groceries), movies, Barnes and Noble ( even the closest one is now closed for good), Trader Joes and when I need something I need without my handsome chauffeur aka big brother Jim. I asked my mom for a Trader Joe's for Christmas and Amazon for my birthday. I use them all the time.
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Old 01-03-2016, 05:02 PM
CatherineID CatherineID is offline
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From the Federal Trade Commission website:

New rules for gift cards went into effect on August 22, 2010. Here are the highlights:

Money on a gift card cannot expire for at least five years from the date the card was purchased, or from the last date any additional money was loaded onto the card. If the expiration date listed on the card is earlier than these dates, the money can be transferred to a replacement card at no cost.
Inactivity fees can be charged only after a card hasn't been used for at least one year, and you can be charged only once per month. But you may be charged a fee to buy the card or to replace a lost or stolen card.
The expiration date of a card must be clearly disclosed on the card, and fees must be clearly disclosed on the card or its packaging.

Also:
retail gift cards are sold by retailers and restaurants, and can be used only with those merchants.
bank gift cards carry the logo of a payment card network like American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa, and can be used wherever the brand is accepted.

There are other issues to consider. Go to their page to read more:

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0182-gift-cards

And yes, we use store gift cards a lot. Like the Kroger gift cards, it used to be if you use a WalMart or Sams Club gift card you get a further savings when buying gas from those outlets. I have to see if that is still the case. When ordering items on-line you can sometimes use a Visa/Mastercard/AmericanExpress gift card to limit your liability. Some places won't let you do that, which makes me immediately suspicious and I reconsider ordering from those places.

With college students, we'll buy them a prepaid bank card then load it with their allowance monthly. Again, this limits our liability and is convenient for them. It is safer then sending them checks, too.
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Old 02-12-2016, 12:37 AM
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Default cash is better

I've gotten burned a couple of times with gift cards. We bought $100 worth to a local chain restaurant. And since we did this near Christmas time, we paid $100, but got $110 on the card. We used it the day we bought it, and had about $73 left on it. The next month, they closed. There is still one open, but it's 50 miles away. (it's about 10 miles out of our way, when we go to the in-laws), so we have done that once. We still have over $30 on the card.

But I did buy $3000 of gift cards to my local lumber store. They were giving 11% rebates on EVERYTHING you bought. So I got $330 back, and still had the $3000 in gift cards. Since I am a contractor, I used up the full $3000 in less than 4 months. So there are times they are a really good thing.

But be sure the store you buy the gift card for, is going to be around. If they go into bankruptcy, you are out the money.
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Old 02-12-2016, 01:26 PM
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I read a tip just yesterday about gift cards.
In California gift cards cannot expire.
If you have one that expired call the company and tell them you are in Californian and they will reset the expiration date.
Not sure it will actually work but it's worth a try and a lot better than losing your money.
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