Advertisements

What Do You Want for the Holidays? A Gift Card!

The demand for gift cards fluctuates from year to year, and Connecticut Better Business Bureau says this year’s forecasts reveal a strong demand for them.

A survey last year from financial publisher Bankrate found more than half of us intend to buy at least one gift card as a present, but only 27 percent of people prefer to receive a gift card as opposed to a tangible item.

“Gift cards have been one of the most popular holiday presents for decades and that has not changed,” according to Connecticut BBB spokesman Howard Schwartz.  “What has changed is the way consumers intend to spend money this holiday season, whether they buy a gift card for someone else or for themselves.  That freedom is one of the reasons for cards’ popularity.”

The market research company NPD Group’s 2017 Holiday Purchase Intentions Study reveals 39 percent of consumers plan to purchase so-called experiential gifts this holiday season.  Those are gifts such as wine tastings, concert tickets, and spa treatments, and gift cards are a convenient way to pay for those.

Gift cards are also popular with retailers. Historically, three out of four people spend more money than the value of the card.

If you receive a gift card as a present but don’t want it, there are websites that allow you to buy or sell gift cards.  Cards with the highest trade-in value are from gas stations, retail chains and grocery stores. They usually sell for 80 to 90 cents on the dollar, while less popular cards can go for half their face value or less.  Check out gift card exchange websites at bbb.org to verify if they are legitimate and have any complaints.

BBB offers some tips to help you get the most out of your gift cards:

Buy them where an employee can see them – If the gift cards are on a rack out of view – a thief can tamper with them, transfer the value of the card and then return it to the rack.

Use them or lose them – As much as 10 percent of gift cards are never redeemed because they get misplaced, forgotten or lost.  Another reason to use them as soon as possible is in case a business shuts down and the card cannot be used.

Treat your card like cash – If the card is lost or stolen, contact the issuer immediately. Some will re-issue a card for a fee but others will not. That is another reason to include the original receipt with the gift card before you give it.

Be very careful buying from an individual – If someone is selling gift cards online through a classified ad site for example, you risk buying a stolen, counterfeit or empty card without any opportunity to get your money back in the event of fraud.

Some cards have fees – This applies to cards issued by banks.  They can charge fees for inactivity if they are not used within 12 months.  In contrast, under Connecticut law, gift cards cannot have an expiration date or inactivity fees, even if the card is purchased from another state.

You will find additional holiday tips at bbb.org.

Advertisements

The Central Connecticut Roundup is a popular local magazine covering central Connecticut news, Statewide news, National news, local events, commentary, and more.

 

The Roundup currently has over 5,700 subscriptions and a local social media following of over 95,000 readers across multiple social media sites, apps, pages, and groups.

 

The Roundup is also a proud member of WordPress. This affiliation offers readers more news from FOX 61 and CBS Connecticut on The Roundup.

Latest Stories From Roundup Partner : FOX 61

Family and friends gather in Milford to remember New Haven homicide victim

Family and friends gather in Milford to remember New Haven homicide victim

MILFORD— A young man was killed in New Haven this past Tuesday and days later family and friends are sharing the memory of their loved one. 28-year-old Thomas Hart was shot and killed near Congress Avenue, the details surrounding the shooting is still unclear. A vigil was held Friday in Milford to honor his memory, multiple people sharing their fondest moments. Matthew Mantini who is a childhood friend of Hart said, “There is not like one thing you can remember […]

Teen diagnosed with two serious illnesses recovers in time for junior prom

Teen diagnosed with two serious illnesses recovers in time for junior prom

MANSFIELD – Teenage years are not easy and they can feel like the toughest of your life. 17-year old Hunter Dale showed us anything is possible as long as you have the right attitude. “I can still remember when I was trying to get him out of the house to walk down to the mailbox. That was his goal for the day,” said Kate Dale, Hunter’s mother. Hunter’s mother remembered the dark days when her son spent countless months in […]

East Haven car crash, fire causes delays on I-95 North

East Haven car crash, fire causes delays on I-95 North

EAST HAVEN — Emergency crews responding to reports of a motor vehicle accident on I-95 Northbound in East Haven. Firefighters are working to put out a car fire that has closed the right lane between Exits 51 and 53. State police report no injuries in the crash. Units are still on scene investigating. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

Bodies in submerged Missouri vehicle bring storm toll to 9

Bodies in submerged Missouri vehicle bring storm toll to 9

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered Friday in a submerged vehicle near the Mississippi River in Missouri, bringing the death toll to nine from storms that have ravaged the central U.S. this week and threaten major flooding through the holiday weekend. John Reinhardt, 20, and Caitlin Frangel, 19, both of Hazelwood, Missouri, were reported missing May 15. Their bodies were found around 4 a.m. on a flooded rural road that runs along […]

Comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.