Leave Feedback

Spend those gift cards now

Tom Jackson • Mar 23, 2010 at 6:27 PM

My fellow blogger Sue Daugherty, who never seems to run out of causes,  has a new issue she’s trying to call attention to.

If you were lucky enough to get a gift card during the holiday season, the wisest action is to go ahead and spend it quickly, rather than holding on to it for months, she advises.

Daugherty contacted me after getting an e-mail from the Ohio Attorney General’s office pointing out that many businesses are expected to shut down this year because of the recession. Gift card holders are considered unsecured creditors, so if a business goes bankrupt, it’s likely you’ll get nothing.

It’s also a good idea to check your gift card for restrictions or an expiration date.

Common sense applies. If your gift card is for Wal-Mart or iTunes, you’ll probably be OK even if you don’t spend it the next few days. But many other businesses are struggling to survive, so it’s a good idea to use those cards up and splurge.

Note that if a business sinks to the bottom of the ocean, a promised rebate also becomes worthless, too. So if you need to apply for a rebate, get going.

Advice from the AG’s office on gift cards and rebates is here. You’ll need a PDF reader (such as Adobe Reader) to read the advice, as the office’s press department doesn’t have enough sense to post its news releases as plain HTML.

Recommended for You