Did you get any gift cards this holiday season? Gift cards can be great gifts because they allow you to pick out exactly what you want or need from the store. Sometimes, though, you just can’t use your gift card for various reasons. I’ll take a look at some of these reasons and what you can do about them so you don’t wind up losing out on the value of the gift card.
This year, 2010 is a good year for people who own gift cards. That is because starting in August, a new law will require that gift cards be valid for at least five years without expiring. Still, those rules don’t yet apply, and it is possible that you gift card will expire before you get to use it. If that happens, you can ask the store if they would be willing to issue you a new one. Many stores will do this in order to keep your business.
If the store refuses to issue you a new gift card, or if the store is no longer in business, there is another way that you can use the gift card to your advantage. You can ask a competing store if they will help you out. Ask for a percentage off discount on your purchases at the competition if you turn your card into them. Stores often are willing to give you a courtesy discount in this way.
If your gift card is still good, but you don’t really shop at the store or if the store is too far away for you, then you can always swap your gift card for another that works at a store that you can use. Check online for gift card swaps, such as giftcardrescue.com. You can also check out savings forums or online classifieds and post your request.