Gift cards are gaining popularity among the masses. According to a National Retail Federation research, most people request gift cards as gifts in the last 9 years in a row. Jennifer Tramontana, the director of communications for the National Branded Prepaid Card Association, says “consumers love them”.
Gift cards are not money lying around in your house or in your bank account. Gift cards possess different properties, such as they are designed to buy specific items, have expiration dates, and you can’t cash them. In this article, we have discussed such qualities of gift cards that you need to keep in mind before buying them.
Buy from genuine sources
There are many unscrupulous people over the internet who are selling fake gift cards that don’t work. People have made fake online auction sites that sell counterfeit or fraudulent cards. Always choose trustworthy sources to buy gift cards so you don’t face any problems while using them.
Read all the terms and conditions
It is very important to read all the terms and conditions before buying the gift cards. There should be no hidden charges for using the cards because then, in a way, they would cost you more than their price. Remember to check whether there are any fees related to buying, shipping, and handling. If you don’t like the terms and conditions, then look for another seller.
Check the validity of the card
Another important thing to look for while buying a gift card is its validity. Make sure the card is active, or it will be activated on a specific chosen date. Also, make sure it has all the stickers that are necessary to use it. All its codes and PIN must be printed clearly on the card. You will need these stickers and codes when you spend them to buy something.
Ask for an original receipt
While buying a gift card, ask the seller for an original receipt. This receipt comes in handy if you lose the gift card or it gets stolen. You can ask the gift card company to deactivate the card in case you lost it so that no other person can use it.
Check for the expiration date
Always check the expiration date before buying a gift card. If the card is already expired, then there is no point in buying that card because you can’t use it. And if its expiration date is near, then you would have to use it soon so that it doesn’t expire even if you don’t need to use it at that time.
Protection against theft and loss
Gift cards are like cash in another form. That means, like money, anyone can use them whoever has them. Once somebody steals them from you or you lost them, that means they are gone for the good. So you need to check whether there is protection against theft and loss of the card.
Buy gift cards that come with a new facility of security, with which you can register them with the bank and spend these cards, the bank will ask for your permission. This has completely removed the fear of spending the card by the wrong person.
Check the card if it’s really activated or not
It may happen that you are wishing to spend your card but it is showing that the card is deactivated. So, if you can, do check if the card is activated or not. But what if you can’t find out about its activation? What can you do in such a situation? This situation usually occurs when the gift card issuer does not activate the card correctly. In this case, if you have a store card, then take it to the store and ask them to activate it. If you have a bank-branded card, then call the bank and ask them to activate it.