Holiday Gift Cards
December 2004 - Holiday Gift Cards
The holidays are upon us and everyone wants to give the "perfect" gift. What is it that will please our favorite people? While there are many ways to buy and send gifts, among this year's favorites is the holiday gift card.
"Whether you give or receive a gift card, consumers need to be aware of the terms and conditions that apply to various gift cards," stated Roger C. Bogsted, Nassau County Commissioner of Consumer Affairs.
FEES -- Some gifts cards may not have fees, but others do charge various types and amounts of fees. Some fees may be paid in cash while others may be deducted from the value of the card. Some common charges
- Miscellaneous Fees for balance inquiries, replacing a lost or stolen card, or other services related to the card.
EXPIRATION DATES -- Make sure you know whether there is an expiration date for the card. If a gift card expires, you may not be able to use it, and the company that sold it to you may keep whatever money is left on the card. If there is an expiration date, you should also find out whether you can ask for the card to be reissued with a new expiration date, and what the fee would be for issuing a new card.
One should know their recourse with regard to lost or stolen cards, where the card can be used, whether the issuing agent is financially viable, and how problems and complaints should be addressed. Check to see if the gift card, or its packaging, includes full information on all the terms or conditions, or provides a toll-free number or website with information about fees connected with the card. The peace of mind gained by being a discerning consumer goes a long way in enhancing a truly happy holiday.