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Gift Cards for Last Minute Shoppers

Holiday Gift Card Advice

Advice on Gift Cards from Forbes*.

  1. Consider Discounted Gift Cards: Available through online gift card exchanges.
  2. General Purpose Cards can be costly. Beware Visa and American Express cards that have extra fees.
  3. Look for Gift Cards that you've received but not used. More than $45 billion in gift cards have gone unused since 2005.
  4. Don't pay for shipping. 30% of gift cards from major online retailers charge for shipping.
  5. Buy Gift Cards with Rewards. For example, under Citibank’s rewards program, you need 10,000 ThankYou points to get $50 in cash back, whereas you only need 5,000 points (50% fewer) for a $50 gift card.

Personally, in spite of Forbes admontion above, I tend to favor Visa or Mastercard Bank Gift Cards, when there are no extra fees. Check with your bank. I like them because they are usable anywhere. Another favorite for many is an Amazon gift card which can also be used to purchase nearly anything. If you're looking for a last minute inexpensive stocking stuffer, a Starbucks gift card is sure to please. Also, consider local businesses. Independent retailers may very well have their own gift cards. I know my local bookstore has their own gift card. It's a great gift idea for the readers on your list, and they get to pick the book of their choice. Then of course, cash is always king. There's nothing like a nice crisp bill or two in the Christmas stocking to put a smile on my face.

*Forbes 12/19/2014 Personal Finance: Last Minute Shopping

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December 20, 2014
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