Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Gift Cards

You probably know that I got a lot of gift cards for Christmas. Well, the issue now is trying to spend them. On our trip I had 4 Sonic cards and one of them had been partially used. It was hard to figure out which was which. At least at Sonic I was able to pay with 2 cards. Problem is making sure I don't mix the good cards with the empty one.

I also got a bank gift card and it is not as easy to use. You can't use it at a gas pump unless you pay inside. It is also hard to spend the remaining balance if your total purchase is more than your card. You have to know exactly what your balance is. I went on a balance mission today and found 9 cents on a Home Depot card and $1.88 on a Walmart card. I also found that my wife's bank card had $1.18 on it. Make sure you keep track of old cards, they could add up.

Make sure you use up the gift cards. The USBank gift card stated on the back that after 7 months a $2.50 service fee will be removed if there is any balance on the card. How much does the bank make on these things? My mom was thinking that if she didn't use her $50 card she would save the giver that $50. WRONG.

The best advice for gift cards is to spend them RIGHT AWAY. I have a friend who lost a few last summer when he got married. The cards are easy to misplace, easy to discard, easy to forget about. The companies count on this.

GIFT CARD=SPEND(Don't wait)

10 comments:

Deanna said...

There was actually a thing on the news out here about gift cards. They were saying the same thing you are. They lose value after awhile and the more you save them the more of a chance you have of having less on the card than what was originally on it. I also recommend using it as soon as possible. Good post.

Pigs said...

That's right. And if you need any help spending those Starbucks cards? I'm your girl. Also, might I suggest simply throwing away the used Sonic card? Might help with your confusion.

Wiccachicky said...

I'm convinced the whole gift card thing in the new conspiracy to get people to shop after Christmas. But at the same time, I agree with you - if you got em, spend em. My partner manages to lose all of his gift cards in one week after the holidays, so my job today is to go spend them all. *sigh...heads out to mall*

Billy V said...

You can usually call a number on the card and they will give you a balance, all automated.

txgrl said...

Ha!! I knew I'd be vindicate somewhere with gift card purchases... I have several lovely new articles of clothing, jewelery, make up from wedding gift cardss. he got all the home depot and lowes ones, its only fair. i actually carried around a sharpie and would rewrite the balance on each card when we used it.it was then michael realized he'd married a teacher, :) one who travels with sharpies at all times, heehee...

The trick to bank cards is to just know your balance, when you purchase something tell them you want to pay X amount(your balance) on the bank card and then you pay the overage. We got a couple amex ones for gifts and they were quite difficult till we figured that out.

I'll be sending you pics tomorrow of our new puppy!! A black lab, TD named him RAIDER, :)

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to deanna: My problem would be losing or forgetting about them.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to pigs: I did finally get the used card out of the way. It was nice to be able to check the balances at the order place. I marked the value left on each card with a sharpie.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to wiccachicky: I guess you are right. They get soemone's initial $50 and then you are likely to spend "a little" more while shopping for yourself. I'm a marketing guy and missed that one.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to billyv: Yes and even online now for most cards.

The MAN Fan Club said...

Reply to txgrl: I too had a sharpie in the floorboad of the car. I too wrote down the totals. Good advice.