Giving a gift card seems like a good idea, but there are pros and cons to the convenient, spur-of-the-moment, slightly better-than-a-wad-of-cash gift.
“It’s always the perfect size and the perfect color” for that person who’s hard to shop for.
Susan Bach with the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin cautions buyers to be aware of different types of fees. She says service fees, maintenance fees, and inactivity fees will all diminish the monetary value of that original gift — for the buyer and the recipient.
If the person you’re giving this card to doesn’t use it within a certain amount of time the company will start withdrawing money from the balance, Bach says, so you might want to use it right away.
Bach says many gift cards end up on Internet auction sites, like ebay, already used. Meanwhile, federal protections intended to protect consumers from service fees and expiration dates are due to take effect next August.
Jackie Johnson 1:20