Be Wary Of Saving Gift Cards For Special Occasions

Woman with gift card and shopping bags

Gift cards are convenient and easy, but they have a major downside: We tend not to spend them. Most of us save them for a big purchase that seems worthy of the special occasion. Unfortunately, saving your gift cards for later can result in wasting a perfectly good gift.

Gift Card Killers

Here are a few gift card killers that are apt to sneak up on you the longer you wait:

  • Inactivity fees. You may think you’ll get around to using that gift card soon, right? Wrong! Before you know it, a year or more has gone by, and when you finally remember you have it, you find there’s not as much money as you thought there was. What happened? Turns out most gift cards start charging regular inactivity fees if you don’t use the card within a year.
  • Expiration dates. If the inactivity fees don’t get you, the expiration date might! Some gift cards actually expire a few years after purchase, meaning that if you don’t use the card up within that time, it’ll become the gift that never was.
  • Lost gift cards. Yeah, we know, it’ll never happen to you, right? But carrying around a bunch of gift cards can be tiresome. They make your wallet a lot fatter, so after a few weeks or months, you might decide to put them somewhere safe. The only problem… where was that safe place again? Unless this is just a clever strategy for ensuring you tidy up regularly, it is best not to let those gift cards linger in safe place limbo.
  • Disappearing retailers. The world of retail isn’t as stable as it once was, and these days even large chains are subject to change. If you hang onto that gift card and the retailer goes out of business, your gift card could end up being worth no more than Monopoly money.

Do Not Gamble With Your Money

Hanging onto a gift card is kind of like gambling, except without the possibility of a big payoff. Why would you? Instead, use those gift cards right away. If you can’t think of a purchase now, chances are you won’t be able to in a month or two either. Instead of waiting around for inspiration, cash them in with Prepaid2Cash. By converting your gift cards into something you can use now, you’ll be able to get genuine enjoyment out of them, which is what the gift giver ultimately wanted for you anyway!