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DWYM: Use those gift cards, or you might lose them

Don't Waste Your Money: Use those holiday gift cards or you might lose them
Posted at 12:55 PM, Jan 05, 2021

We’ve got a caution for everyone who received a gift card during the holidays.

Leave it out so you can see it and use it as soon as possible.

Consumer reporter John Matarese explains why that's more important than ever during this pandemic, so you don't waste your money.

Eileen Pike loves to support local shops and small businesses.

Last Christmas, she bought her aunt $75 in gift cards to a movie theatre that shut down for good during the pandemic.

“So there was no way to get my money back for my aunt to get the gift we had bought her last Christmas,” she said.

That's a concern with more stores and restaurants on the verge of shut down this pandemic winter.

The savings site retailme.com is warning shoppers this year to be careful buying gift cards to struggling retailers.

Just look around you: Steinmart is now closing almost all of its stores.

New York and Company running its final closing sale.

And Pier One is now gone for good.

But from the “Doesn’t That Stink” file, the main reasons almost one-third of holiday gift cards are never redeemed.

Yahoo finance says reasons include:

  • The store is too far away
  • Inactivity fees have ruined their value
  • The recipient loses the card
  • Or they forget they even received the card.

So with many shops and restaurants on the bubble this winter, use them or lose them is more important now than ever with those holiday gift cards.

And if a business you have a gift card to goes under, try calling similar businesses nearby. They may honor them to get you as a customer.

As always don’t waste your money.