Gift Cards and Leftovers
By Consumers Union on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006
Your refrigerator is likely full of leftovers from the Thanksgiving holiday, but is your wallet also stuffed with leftover gift cards from last year’s holiday season? Some states have different gift card consumer protection laws which may limit fees and expiration dates. So if you’re giving a gift card this year, you may want to know what additional fees, if any, will be incurred and whether it may expire before it’s even used.
And know that if you haven’t spent the value on your gift card, you’re definitely not alone. An October 25, 2006 Consumer Reports news release stated, “Over half (54%) of respondents to a new Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll said they received gift cards last year, yet nearly a year later, 19%, or an estimated 23.3 million Americans have not used them. Why not? Among the reasons: gift cards were lost or expired cards, which should make gift-givers think twice. The Consumer Reports Holiday Shopping Poll found that despite the abundance of unused gift cards, they are a major component of holiday giving. Close to two-thirds (60%) of Americans plan to purchase gift cards this holiday season.”