Spend those gift cards now

Tom Jackson
Mar 23, 2010

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.

Comments

Anonymous (not ...

What!!! The guberment won't bailout gift cardholders?

Govt. bureaucrats are warning people about businesses potentially closing? I smell a rat.

Either the apparatchiks are in the process of spreading panic and fear and/or they're attempting to 'juice' the economy and increase sales tax revenue.

I think that this is despicable and ultimately a disservice to the people of Ohio and our state's economy.

Anonymous (not ...

Gift card? Heck no, I'm the Santa Claus, not the recipient. The adult 'kid' wanted cash this yr. not a gift card.

Speaking of cash:

With all the current and proposed economic stimulus coming from govt. and the printing of more fiat currency, perhaps Treasury should issue a warning about a possible collapse of the U.S. dollar and the need for all citizens to spend as much and as fast as they can before it becomes worthless.

Gulliver

I would like to say that I think you, Winston Smith, are brilliant (and funny too). Keep on commenting. You are a hoot!

Anonymous (not ...

Having difficulty spending? Help may be on the way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J...

Thanks Gul.

Anonymous (not ...

And in case anyone missed it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8...

(Pay particular close attention to the disclaimer at the end of the video.)