The clock is running and you have little time to find the perfect gift for this holiday season. Maybe you are buying at the last minute, Or the recipient of your gift could be very demanding; Or just the same happens to me, you may not want to deal with the annoying gift wrap! In any case, a gift card or certificate may seem like a great solution: for you, it is a quick purchase and gives many options to the person who is on your gift list.

Make your choice: Choose from traditional gift cards from retail stores and restaurants, gift cards issued by banks that can be used anywhere you accept that logo, electronic gift cards or e-cards, and Promotional coupon sites. When you are already looking to buy gift cards, remember to read the fine print before buying them. Yes, time is gold, and you may not have enough time to read the details, but you should notice some important things:

  • Do you have a charge to buy the card?
  • Will charges apply when someone uses the card?
  • Does the card have an expiration date?
  • Is there a rule applicable to the time and place to use the card or certificate?

If you purchase gift certificates at promotional coupon sites, additional restrictions may apply. Let’s take as an example that you buy a gift for a friend at a promotional coupon site – $ 15 to apply to the purchase of food at a certain restaurant for $ 30. The promotional value of $ 30 may expire in a few weeks, but the certificate will continue to be worth $ 15 for a year. There may be other limitations: for example, the certificate could only be accepted at lunchtime from Monday to Thursday at a specific location. Do you think your friend will be able to use the full value of the certificate under those circumstances?

If you buy a gift card in a store, check it before paying. Check that the protection stickers are intact and that the codes on the back of the card have not been scraped leaving the PIN number uncovered. If you think something is wrong, tell the merchant and get another card.

Just for your information: sometimes, the merchants close their businesses, both the companies that operate only on the internet and the stores that have long have premises of attention to the public. If you buy a card from a company that is about to be closed, that card may be worth less than you thought – or that it is worth nothing at all. I just found a gift card from a bookstore that closed for bankruptcy, and I’m using it as a bookmark!

Give some more along with the gift card – some good advice on how to use gift cards effectively. And do not forget to give the original receipt to the person who delivered the gift. If you lose or steal the card, it will help you verify the purchase. For the time being, let’s give a happy, stress-free shopping experience to everyone!


Laura Wang has over four years of experience in fashion and lifestyle. She provides thought leadership & pursues strategies for engagements with the senior executives on Innovation in fashion and lifestyle, her recent blog is This gifts for him, in which she is working as an author to write and edit the articles.


About The Author

Jeffrey Elder