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Supply and demand determines prices for commodities and the price of precious metals is no exception. By adding a custom message or name on the front of the card, it can make for an individualized gift or incentive to an employee to show how greatly they are appreciated. How do I get paid? December 29, at He keeps asking too.
Best Gift Card Buy Back and Exchange Program
The Kmart Mags Pangilinan Cash Card was the first replacement for cash returns when a shopper did not have a receipt for a gift. This practice of giving a cash card in place of cash for non-receipted returns is common place today with most merchants. From these early introductions, other retailers began to adapt a giftcard program to replace their gift certificate programs. A gift card may resemble a credit card or display a specific theme on a plastic card the size of a credit card.
The card is identified by a specific number or code, not usually with an individual name, and thus could be used by anybody. They are backed by an on-line electronic system for authorization. Some gift cards can be reloaded by payment and can be used thus multiple times. Cards may have a barcode or magnetic strip , which is read by an electronic credit card machine.
Many cards have no value until they are sold, at which time the cashier enters the amount which the customer wishes to put on the card.
This amount is rarely stored on the card but is instead noted in the store's database, which is crosslinked to the card ID. Gift cards thus are generally not stored-value cards as used in many public transport systems or library photocopiers, where a simplified system with no network stores the value only on the card itself.
To thwart counterfeiting, the data is encrypted. The magnetic strip is also often placed differently than on credit cards, so they cannot be read or written with standard equipment.
Other gift cards may have a set value and need to be activated by calling a specific number. Gift cards can also be custom tailored to meet specific needs. By adding a custom message or name on the front of the card, it can make for an individualized gift or incentive to an employee to show how greatly they are appreciated. Gift cards are divided into "open loop" or "network" cards and "closed loop" cards.
The former are issued by banks or credit card companies and can be redeemed by different establishments, the latter by a specific store or restaurant and can be only redeemed by the issuing provider. The latter, however, tend to have fewer problems with card value decay and fees. A third form is the "hybrid closed loop" card where the issuer has bundled a number of closed loop cards; an example is free gift cards for a specific mall. Gift cards differ from gift certificates , in that the latter are usually sold as a paper document with an authorized signature by a restaurant, store, or other individual establishment as a voucher for a future service; there is no electronic authorization.
A gift certificate may or may not have an expiration date and generally has no administrative fees. Bank-issued gift cards may be used in lieu of checks as a way to disburse rebate funds. Some retailers use the gift card system for refunds in lieu of cash thereby assuring that the customer will spend the funds at their store.
A Charity Gift Card allows the gift giver to make a charitable donation, and the gift recipient to choose a charity that will receive the donation. Mobile gift cards are delivered to mobile phones via email or SMS and phone apps allow users to carry only their cell phone.
Benefits include tying them to a particular phone number and ease of distribution. Virtual gift cards are delivered via e-mail to the recipient, the benefits being that they cannot be lost and that the consumer does not have to drive to the bricks and mortar location to purchase a gift card. Other companies have introduced virtual gift cards that users redeem on their smartphones. As the merchant is not involved in the loop, it is considered a cash transfer rather than a traditional gift card.
It has been argued that holiday giving destroys value due to mismatching gifts. Gift cards, to a degree, may overcome this problem but have certain pitfalls. Some feel that the absence of the thought of selecting a specific gift makes a gift card a worse choice than a poorly executed but individual gift. New services launched by some service providers allows for customization and personalization of gift cards.
Gift cards have been criticized for the ability of the issuer to set rules that are detrimental to the purchaser or card recipient. For example, gift cards may be subject to an expiry date, administrative fees, restrictions on use, and absence of adequate protection in case of fraud or loss. However, these issues have been addressed in recent years in some jurisdictions.
In the United States , many jurisdictions limit or prohibit all fees or expiration dates for gift cards. Further, because of the negative impact on sales that such policies can have, most merchants have adopted and even advertise a "no fee, no expiration" policy for their gift cards, whether or not state laws require it.
In , an estimated 2. A quarter of gift card recipients still have not spent gift cards a year after receiving them, according to a Consumer Reports survey. And a majority of people say they end up spending more than the value of the card once they get to the store. In the event of the bankruptcy of the issuing retailer, the outstanding value on gift cards is considered unsecured debt , and as such gift cards may become valueless.
Another issue regarding gift cards are the growing concerns from retailers and other businesses about what can be done to prevent gift cards from being exploited by fraudsters. Gift card information can either be stolen from their rightful owners by fraudsters or they can be purchased with stolen credit card information.
In recent years, cybercriminals have increased their efforts to take advantage of fraudulent gift cards as they are simple to exploit with automated brute-force bot attacks .
Wal-Mart gift cards were selling for only a 3. Warehouse and club stores. A minimum purchase is required, usually about two times the certificate value, says Tania German, former Restaurant. Be sure to check restrictions before you buy or give these as gifts. Think of it as a yearlong project. Check to see if your employer offers access to discounts specifically for employees, says Brian Preston, certified financial planner, CPA and host of the Money Guy podcast.
These deals are often available to family and friends. Frequent flier miles or credit card points languishing in your account can often be redeemed for gift cards for movies, clothing and other products.
For example, United Airlines and American Airlines allow frequent fliers to redeem miles for restaurant and retail gift cards. You can swing by a clothing store to buy a gift card, but you might also be able to pick up the same card from your local grocery store. Ebates and Upromise are two rewards-oriented shopping portals not affiliated with any particular credit card that give back for gift card purchases, says Preston.
When you shop at qualified retailers via Ebates, you receive up to 25 percent cash back, according to the site. With Upromise, you can earn 5 to 8 percent on purchases at qualified retailers, according to the site.
You can choose to invest that money in a tax-deferred college savings account or high-yield savings account, pay down student loans or receive a check to use for college or other expenses, according to the site. Never discount the appeal of a smile, Ellwood says. I call a smile a discount ray gun. Buying gift cards with a credit card gets harder, for now, How to replace a lost or stolen gift card. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditCards.