Did you know that over 50% of gift cards are purchase five days before Christmas? Perhaps folks can’t think of an appropriate gift to give that would please the recipient. Or, maybe they just remembered someone to whom they want to give too. I fall into both categories… so I’m running out today and picking up a few Christmas gift cards.
Here are 5 tips you need to consider when purchasing a gift card.
1. When you purchase a gift card, check on the expiration date. Small independent stores are famous for putting a date limitation on the card. Chain stores usually honor an expired card… but it would be wise to check anyway. Try and find cards that don’t have an expiration date.
2. If the recipient of the card doesn’t spend the full value of the card for one purchase, make sure the remaining money on the card can be spent at a later date. Usually gift cards that can be swiped through a machine will account for the balance… but again, it’s wise to check.
3. Are you aware that more than $1 in $4 that is spent on gifts cards is not redeemed. Many cards get tucked in a drawer to be used at a later date… then they are forgotten about. (I’m guilty of this one.) Stores make thousands of dollars on gift cards that are not redeemed. In fact… they count on it.
4. Instead of giving the recipient a gift card, consider cash. Perhaps the person is saving for something special. You could put the cash into a Christmas card and mention the desired item they are saving for.
5. If you are purchasing a gift card from a chain store, make sure all stores will honor the card. Sometimes small chain stores are independently owned and will not honor cards purchase from other stores in the chain.
Hope this helps… off I go to purchase gift cards.
P.S. You can increase the perceived value of the card by wrapping it in a large box.