Gift cards are losing their bad rep, but at what cost? When is a gift considered thoughtful and when does just serve as a quick and easy way to get the job done?
Understanding the fine print on a gift card is hard. Trust me, I’ve spent the better part of a month looking through more than 60 examples.
But after weeks of deciphering Web pages, calling toll-free customer service numbers or even calling or visiting individual stores while researching CreditCards.com’s 2011 gift card survey, I think I have a solution for the problem.
Run for the Borders!
I told you back in January and now I really mean it: If you have a Borders gift card you’ve been meaning to redeem, do it now. Now. Let the dog walk himself. Skip the weekly lunch bunch. Tell your boss you have to leave early because you have to meet the sprinkler guy. Whatever. But go as soon as you can, either directly to the store, or online, and cash out that card.
After failing to sell itself off, the company is liquidating, with stores beginning to close as soon as Friday.
The closing credits are rolling for Blockbuster gift cards.
As part of its slow-motion bankruptcy, the once-ubiquitous renter of videos (how quaint!) has announced it will no longer honor gift certificates or gift cards after April 6, 2011.
I got a gift card myself for Christmas, and I’m heading to Borders today to use it.
That’s because news leaked out last week that the long-troubled bookseller has hired bankruptcy attorneys to help it sort through its options.
Consumers should do themselves a favor and get to the nearest Borders now to make sure they get full value from their gift cards. While Borders has said it still hopes to evade bankruptcy, I’d get there pronto, the history of retailers honoring gift cards after bankruptcy filing is mixed, and your rights to redeem that card are not guaranteed.