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Gift Cards


They are a convenient way to buy something for someone while allowing them the freedom to choose the specific items. As a gift-giver, your greatest goal is to find someone the perfect item that you're sure they'll like, but this is hard to do unless you know the person very well.

However, giving plain cash is often considered very bland as it takes no thought to give someone money. Also, when given money, a responsible person may feel obligated to spend it on other things such as rent, food, bills, etc. rather than something for themselves (which is the point of gifts).

Enter the gift card. If you know a store that has items that your recipient would like, but not the specific item(s), buying them credit gives them the flexibility to choose what they wish, but not to spend it on something you didn't intend. For many gift givers, this is a great solution.


As with rebates and warranties, gift cards are money you give stores something for nothing immediate in return. A store gains revenue for as long as it takes the recipient to use the card which may be only days, but could be as long as months or years.

A lot of people lose or forget about gift cards. Some gift.

In most cases, the recipient will buy something worth more than the card's value since no one likes to lose money. But in other cases, people will use most of the value and eventually forget about the few cents to few dollars left on the card (bonus for the retailers!). Add to all that the fact that many people lose cards and you can begin to see why gift cards are so common now.


All of the above are reasons why it's good for stores to offer gift cards and that's only assuming that they're playing fair. Make sure it doesn't have any of these "gotchas" before you buy it (and don't rely on the salesperson's opinion, read the terms).

In Conclusion

If you're going to buy a gift card, understand the risks. If your goal is to give a gift to someone, but it ends up being something they can't or don't use, it's no gift at all.
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All About Warranties

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Learn why rebates are a bad thing and some tips for making sure you get your money.

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