You may not have noticed in the post-holiday blur, but this year’s gift card industry experienced some major scams and setbacks. From unactivated gift cards at Target and elsewhere, to hidden fees and other scams, many shoppers may be swearing off the popular gift altogether. With a few smart shopping tips though, gift card buying can be risk-free, and you can continue to give your friends and family the freedom to choose a gift they love with gift cards to their favorite spots.
1. Watch out for hidden fees! These often pop up when buying general purpose gift cards, like those from American Express and Visa. This chart from BankRate can help to find out what fees might be lurking on gift cards, and will help you decide if you might be better off with a cash gift.
2. Save the receipt from your gift card purchase in case there was an error in its activation. Slip the receipt in with your gift, and your recipient will avoid the awkward encounter of a malfunctioning gift card at the store! This also lets them know the amount on the card without having to ask you or check online. » Read more: 10 Tips for Smart Gift Card Shopping