Gift cards make for exceptional gifts, especially during the holidays. You most likely received one or bought one from sites that sell gift cards, giving you the opportunity to purchase stuff without using your own money. However, if not taken advantage of, gift cards can go to waste. For instance, if you forget that you had one, it might sit in your bag unused. Also, you might get one for a store that you’re not interested in, and this might lead to buying things you’re not interested in. Keeping this in mind, let’s see how you can make good use of the gift cards and avoid wasting them.
Spend It As Soon as Possible
There are many occurrences that could render the gift card invalid. One, you might stay for long without using it and then the store goes out of business. In this case, they will not honor your outstanding gift card if they file for bankruptcy.
In other cases, the store near you may close down. Even worse, the retailers may shut their doors nationwide. In 2017, some retail giants closed their stores nationwide, including J.C. Penner and Macy’s.
Not Interested in Spending It?
You might get a gift card for a brand that has no store near your location. In other cases, you might not be interested in anything in the said store. So, what do you do when you cannot make use of the gift card? You can regift, donate, or sell the gift card.
Once you receive a gift card, always assess whether you’re going to use the card or not. If not, find a family member or friend who may need your unwanted gift. If no one around you needs the card, you can always sell it to somebody. There are several sites online that allow you to sell gift cards.
Finally, you can choose to donate the gift card to a local school or an after-school program.
Don’t Overspend or Underspend
A study by First Data, a payments technology company, discovered that 75% of consumers tend to overspend on the value of their gift card with $38. This might not actually be a bad thing since gift cards lower the amount that you spend on an item you desired, but you couldn’t raise enough money to buy it.
However, be wary of spending excessively on an item that you really didn’t want, simply because they can afford it because of the card. Instead, plan before you head to the store and establish whether you really need the item.
On the other hand, you might come close to the gift card limit but have a small amount of cash left. Some states require stores to exchange the card value for cash if the value drops below a certain threshold. In other cases, some stores have policies in place that refund low gift card values for cash, in spite of the state.
Do you have a gift card? Use it as soon as you can to avoid forgetting it. If you don’t plan to use it, you can find sites that sell gift cards or donate the card to a worthy cause. If not, use the gift card to explore new experiences like visiting new restaurants or stores you’ve had eyes for.