Use Those Gift Cards Now!January 13th, 2014 by The JetSetter Team | Comments Off on Use Those Gift Cards Now!
You may have noticed that television commercials have recently changed—gone are the happy-go-lucky gift givers, offering cars with giant bows. Now, commercials are portraying the disgruntled gift receiver, a guy happy to return awful presents in favor of (if you’re Jason Hartman) fancy electronics and fun gadgets! And who can blame him, really. We’re deep in the after-Christmas “treat yourself” season and since we’ve all received gift cards (because, you know, shipping is just so expensive) there is no time like the present.
Now is the time to spend these gift cards for a few different reasons. First, they’re going to get lost if you don’t turn them into purchases soon. Those tiny plastic cards are just itching to slip between the couch cushions, fall into your work parking lot, or end up in the purse of your teenage daughter. There’s also a pretty good chance you’ll forget about them until it’s too late if you don’t spend them now.
But wait, there’s more!
Use gift cards because they might expire. Lucky for you, federal rules for merchant and bank issued gift cards make it so that they can’t expire for five years after purchase or five years after they were last loaded with money. But, loyalty, promotional, and rebate style gift cards aren’t identified as gift cards, which means they can expire anytime the merchant decides they should. Spend them now!
Use gift cards now because you don’t want to be charged for not using them. For gift cards issued by banks, there is often a monthly fee after 12 months of inactivity. Some cards also offer the ability to transfer funds, but these also come with a price tag.
Use gift cards now because the retailer might not be long for this world. Tis also the season for businesses to declare bankruptcy, and this can leave people with no place to use their gift cards. Even if you’re able to use up your cards, store closures and liquidations mean that there is less selection available to you. It might be that millions of dollars go unclaimed and are eventually lost to the defunct store.
The great thing about using up gift cards now is the sales. Many retailers offer great prices in the weeks following Christmas, and their loss in your gain. So get out there and reward yourself for a holiday season well done—you deserve it!
* Read more from Jetsetter
The Jetsetter Show Team