Holiday Gift Cards

Mike Iuen

A lot of you will be hitting the stores for you holiday shopping.

Some of you will, like I often do, take the easy way out and buy gift cards for those on your list. In fact 60% of consumers will give gift cars this year according to the folks at Card Hub. But it's good to know the ins and outs of the gift card market.

Here are some of their suggestions.

1. Find value in unused gift cards. You can sell unused gift cards for cash via exchanges and use the money to buy new ones.

2. Wish lists lead to better gifts. A gift card to a store where you don't shop is a waste of time and money. Get a gift card wish list from the people you shop for so your gift will be appreciated.

3. General purpose gift cards are costly. Try to buy cards from a specific store. Cards from Visa, Mastercard and the like tend to charge fees that aren't there on merchant gift cards.

So read the fine print for any fees that are upfront or might kick in later on if the card isn't used for a few months.

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