This year for the holidays, I received gift cards for Circuit City, Amazon.com, Best Buy, JCPenney, and even Wendy’s. Besides the usual warnings with gifts cards (watch out for purchasing fees, reduction of value over time, and expiration dates), the most basic tip goes often overlooked:
Don’t forget to use them.
I’ve heard that many retail stores are offering discounts and sales right now, so it might be a good time to make the most of the money on the gift cards. Companies are encourage gift card use right now as well, so they can record the sales before the year ends.
I don’t buy stuff often, so until gift buying season, I had an Amazon.com gift certificate that had gone unused for about a year. Part of the problem is my lack of organization, but I used the gift certificate to help pay for some of the gifts I purchased.
The challenge now will be to use the gift cards, and when I do, use them in such a way I’ll be making the most out of the money. My girlfriend, A., has already used some of her gift certificates to buy deeply discounted items.
Have you used your holiday gift cards yet?
Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published December 28, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.