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Save on This Season’s Hottest Gift: Gift Cards!

This article, entitled A Great Deal on This Season’s Hottest Gift: Gift cards! comes from SavingsAngel.com.

To gift card or not to gift card? While masters of etiquette may disagree with the notion, gift cards can be incredibly convenient and increasingly appreciated. Whether that name on your list is simply difficult to choose a specific gift for or you see the practicality of giving a gift card, you should know that you are not alone.

The National Retail Federation survey showed total spending on gift cards will reach $28.79 billion in 2012, with 81.1% of shoppers indicating that they will purchase at least one card. This is up from 80% last year and 77.3% the year before.What I find even more fascinating is that people are more open than ever to receiving gift cards as gifts. The NRF found that 59.8% of people actually would prefer a gift card over a traditional gift. Despite my best efforts to find that perfect gift, my dear Mom has been been part of that 59.8% for many years and is thrilled each year I oblige her in gift card splendor. Overall, the NRF found that more than 84% of respondents say they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with receiving gift cards as a holiday present.Those are pretty good odds if you just aren’t sure what to buy that special someone.Whether you’ve already purchased gift cards this season – or still have some left to go, there are a few tips you should know before buying.

  1. Shop around and search online first. Before paying full retail price for a gift card, check to see if there are any discounts available. Getting a free meal for yourself when you buy a gift card to a restaurant, getting a free gift card for yourself to a retailer, or getting as much as 20% off are pretty common perks.

    You can always find a great deal online as well. Saveology.com is a daily deal site that makes a name for itself selling $10 gift cards for $5. I’ve purchased several over the past couple months: http://sa2.me/giftcard is a direct link to a recent offer for new members with more than 30 retailers’ cards to choose from.

    You’ll find new and partially used gift cards being sold online by people who have no desire to redeem said gift cards through a number of online exchanges. The most popular sites are: plasticjungle.com, cardhub.com, cardpool.com, giftcardgranny.com, and giftcards.com. Get a stinker of a gift card? These sites are a great place to ‘return’ your gift card for cash.

  2. Consider post-Christmas sales when choosing a gift card. Your recipient may get the best deal of all if the gift card is for a location that has great after-Christmas sales. Despite all the excitement over Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and amazing online deals and door buster deals, the best deals of the shopping season will likely happen immediately after the official season is over: starting December 26th. If they have a gift card in hand, they’re likely to come out a big winner with post-Christmas clearance deals.

  3. Maybe not everyone on your list should get a gift card. Consumer groups estimate that ten percent of gift cards are never redeemed. Retailers love this statistic – but you can make sure this doesn’t happen to your gift recipient by choosing a card that will not be too difficult for your friend or family member to redeem. You’ll also want to ask them about their card later – particularly if they are a procrastinator. What we don’t want to happen is a card to get misplaced. But, even then, we may have some recourse…
  4. What happens if the card goes missing? Hang on to the receipt! Contact the retailer immediately. Most gift cards will have a toll-free number you can call. Give them what information you have from the receipt and they can likely cancel and reissue you a new card. If it’s a traditional store card, you typically won’t be required to pay a replacement fee. Bank issued gift cards may charge a $5 to $15 fee. If you don’t have the receipt but have a copy of the gift card number, you may still be in luck. Contact the retailer to see if you can still use the card number, or have a new card issued to you.
    If you lose the receipt and the card, you’re probably out of luck – unless you can work with your credit card company with whom you made your original purchase of the gift card – in cases where you never received the gift card when purchasing.

    If you receive a gift card for Christmas (and statistically, you will!) many retailers will allow you to register your gift card on their website. Do this! This may provide additional protection – and possibly some additional perks like discounts.

  5. What about re-gifting gift cards? Should you give a scratched-up Taco Bell gift card that’s been at the bottom of your purse for the past six months. I’m no expert on etiquette, but I wouldn’t advise it. One option may be to go to the retailer or restaurant and have them reissue the gift card on shiny new plastic. You can also break up the value into smaller amounts, merge existing cards, or ‘top off’ a card that may be at an odd amount. This tip comes in handy when buying discounted cards online – as odd amounts are commonly available.
  6. What about fees, restrictions, and expiration dates? Thanks to the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009, store-issued gift cards cannot expire for five years. However, if there is no activity on the card for a year, you can be charged a dormancy / non-use fee. You can also be charged a fee when purchasing the card or replacing it – although this is rare. Keep in mind that bank issued cards (co-branded with a Visa / MasterCard / American Express logo) are not subject to the same rules, and you’ll want to read the fine print before purchasing. Also, if a retailer were to declare bankruptcy, its a possibility that you may lose the full value of your card depending on the type of bankruptcy the retailer went through.

Whether or not your gift giving includes gift cards, I hope you have a magical Christmas. 2013 is straight ahead and I’ll be working with readers throughout the year to help you keep more of your own money at the grocery store and everywhere else your money goes on a regular basis.


The best couponers save hundreds of dollars every month at the grocery store. However, extreme couponers can end up living very extreme lifestyles to get those savings. For over five years, SavingsAngel.com has equalized the playing field – giving extreme savings to busy families who don’t have the time or ability to be an extreme couponer. Each week, SavingsAngel.com’s over 70 angels combine over 2,000 products on sale at local grocery and drug stores with an enormous database of over 2000 different manufacturer coupons. These combinations result in our members getting access to over 300 products each week for 50% off or better. Simply log in, choose the deals you want, print or clip only the coupons you need, and save hundreds of dollars a month at regional and national stores. Our angels will personally work with you to craft a plan that will help you buy healthier food at lower prices – helping you keep $200 to $400 in savings each month.

Josh Elledge is the Chief Executive “Angel” of SavingsAngel, Inc. – launched from his home in January 2007. A husband and father of three, he now appears each week on television, in eight newspapers, and a number of radio stations across the country teaching families how to cut their grocery bill in half using the Internet. Elledge created the technology found on SavingsAngel.com through the need to save his own family’s money. Successfully able to cut his own grocery bill from $600 a month to less than $300 a month, his message has reached hundreds of thousands of families. SavingsAngel.com is now growing rapidly throughout the country. You can watch a short video at SavingsAngel.com that will explain more information about how to cut your own grocery bill in half with the help of SavingsAngel.com!



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