Gift Card: A Quick Review

“Do not look a horse presentat the mouth” is an old proverb, which means that a person should accept a gift with grace and gratitude without criticizing the gift or donor. This is always good advice, but especially when it comes to gift cards, which in recent years have had a bad reputation due to all the restrictions and fees that they entail. Fortunately, following some simple rules greatly contributes to the joy of presenting and to check visa gift card balance.

Firstly, some data on gift cards: US consumers this year will spend about $ 50 billion on gift cards; According to the National Retail Federation, almost half of this amount was spent on cards only during the holiday season of 2008.

If you have ever bought gift cards, you know that there are two main types: general purpose cards and retail store cards.

visa gift card

Cards issued by retailers make up the largest segment in the prepaid card category. They can be used only in the issuer’s stores (and sometimes in other stores owned by the same parent company). Since retailers benefit from the products and services purchased by the cardholder, there is usually no prepayment for the purchase of a retail card. They are generally less problematic than general purpose cards, but they may lose value or become obsolete, depending on government regulations or store policies. And if the store closes, then the card closes.

The first rule of gift cards is that they do not benefit anyone (except the issuer) if they are not used. Unfortunately, approximately 10 percent of the cost of cards issued in the United States. UU. According to the Federation of American Consumers (CFA), it is never redeemed, and additional cost is lost due to monthly rates, which is a net benefit for the issuer.

For your convenience, the 2009 Law on Responsibility, Responsibility and Disclosure of Credit Card Information includes guarantees for gift cards. As of August 2010, cards cannot expire within five years after the date of activation, and the fee for inaction is regulated. In addition, American Express recently withdrew all service fees on its cards after purchase.