First, let me say that the rules around gift cards has improved as seen in the Denver Post article: Feds overhaul gift-card rules!
Prior to this change being implemented by the Feds, I was a Gift Card policy victim! You see, at work I rewarded an Amazon Gift Card which I firmly held onto it for more than a year, waiting for that something perfect that I wanted, so as to reward myself for doing a great job at work. When I found that perfect something, lo and behold it expired!
Back then, $100 meant a lot more than it does today (don’t get me wrong, I still respect the purchasing power of $100!). So I was upset… But what really pushed me over the edge was that fact that if I lived in California, they would still have to honor the value of the card!!! HUH? Yep, Cali realizing that the principal of having the card expire was somewhat underhanded and created a law that made it illegal to be so in Cali (2 points for them!).
Since I don’t come from Cali, I was very livid. The side effect of me getting basically screwed was that I vowed not to purchase anything from www.Amazon.com… and I haven’t since! So yeah, they may have made a pure $100 on me the day my card expired, but I’m sure they lost much more than that on profit they could have had from me…
But there are more reasons that I like cash over gift cards:
- If you invest the money, you make money off of your money gift!
- Invested money can be a hedge against Inflation.
- Cash money doesn’t comes with a “no-usage” fee or any fees.
- There is no need to go to an exchange gift card site, and thus accept less value for the card.
- Cash Money doesn’t have a magnetic stripe that can go bad.
- Paper Cash weights less than a gift card.
- Cash can be rolled up and put behind my ear! (Why?, good question???).
- Cash is King, it can be used for anything, not just at Starbucks or Best Buy 😉
So, you may be wondering if I have other gift cards? Yes, I do! But I made sure they don’t expire nor that they had fees associated with them!
Reader have you ever gotten burned by not using your gift card in time?
If so, perhaps the new laws will benefit you too. Or even better ask for cash only instead of gift cards!
Disclaimer: I’m not entirely sure that Amazon really screwed me, it could have been the Gift card company that runs their gift card option. But, either way it was painful for me at the time!