Buying Gift Cards by docstoc93

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									                                                                     business, have computer
Buying Gift Cards: A Few Useful Tips                                 problems, get new
                                                                     ownership, and have all
                                                                     types of other problems
There's little doubt gift cards make good gifts. In fact, they       that may keep them from
may be the "perfect" gift. Why? Because, by giving a gift            honoring a gift card or
card, you allow someone to choose something that they                certificate in the future. It's
actually want. No guessing. No mistakes. No bad gifts that get       best to stick with the big,
buried in the closet, never to be seen again. In the past several    well-known, and well-
year gift cards have become a very acceptable and desired gift       established retailers. When
option.                                                              you buy a gift card from
                                                                     your local "Best Buy"
However, not all gift cards are created equal. Some are              store, you can be certain it
actually much better than others. Because of their popularity        will be honored in the
(they are now one of the most-purchased gifts in the United          future -- not just in that
States) gift cards are offered by hundreds of different retailers    store but in any of the
as well as credit card companies. It's very important that you       hundreds of stores around
take your time, read the fine print, and find out exactly what       the country
type of cards you're buying. Remember, several types of gift
cards can actually "go bad" within just few months of
purchase, so it's important to do your research and be careful.

Here are a few tips for buying gift cards will make everyone
happy:

1. Watch out for expiration dates -- Some gift cards expire in
as little as 6 months after purchase. Almost all cards issued by
credit card companies have expiration dates. So no, they're
not "as good as cash" like many people believe. It's becoming
less and less common for retailers to issue gift cards with
expiration dates, but it does still happen. If possible, avoid
buying cards that must be used within a certain amount of
time. And if you DO buy one be sure the person you give it to
is well aware of that time limit!

2. Watch out for fees -- Be aware that a few companies sell
gift cards that have "dormancy fees" that kick in after 6
months or so. These fees can reduce the value of a card by up
to $5 per month. Make sure anyone you give these types of
cards to is aware of this fee. There's nothing worse than going
to a store and finding out your gift card is worth half of the
face value due to dormancy fees.

2. Stick with established retailers -- It seems just about every
little store and restaurant now offers some type of gift card or
gift certificate. However, little stores and restaurants go out of

								
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