Photo Credit: Plastic Jungle
Expiration Dates: Gift cards can’t be returned, but many recipients don’t realize that they also expire. Gamm notes that, until recently, redeemers had to pay about $2.50 per month in inactivity fees to use a card after the expiration date. Lucky for everyone, as of January 31, 2011, the expiration date and any fees associated with the card must be printed on the back of the card. “Thanks to the New Card Act of 2010, gift cards can’t expire for a minimum of 5 years so recipients have plenty of time to plan their purchases,” adds Woroch, “as opposed to actual gifts that carry 30- to 90-day return/exchange policies for which a gift receipt is needed.”
When considering a gift card vs. a super-personal gift, always think about who you’re giving it to first. If the recipient is really particular or you just have no idea what he or she would want, go for the gift card. It’s easier and can still be personal. But make sure to familiarize yourself with the terms and conditions so you know what you and your giftee are getting into.
Ysolt Usigan is a lifestyle editor and shopping guru. She has made it her mission to bring readers fabulous finds and practical advice to make their lives easier.