According to a recent survey, gift cards are likely to be the most requested gifts, this year. Incredibly 77% of the customers are likely to purchase at least one gift card this season. Gift cards have become more consumer friendly thanks to the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act. This act covers reloadable prepaid cards, gift cards and certificates. The restriction on these cards is on the hidden fees and unexpected fees charged to the customer, reducing the value of the card very quickly.
Longer expiration dates for gift cards is one of the changes. This means balances on gift cards cannot expire up to 5 years after being issued. The actual card itself can expire, so the recipient has to contact the store to know about the expiration date and get a replacement card with the balance. The limitations and the fees on the gift card have to be disclosed properly to the customer. The packaging should include the fee amount and how often would they be levied and under what circumstances.
One has to be aware of the fact that an inactivity fee can be charged on the gift cards if they are not used for up to 1 year. After this period, a fee can be charged per month on the gift card which has to be clearly informed to the customer at the time of offering the card. Those who have gift cards should be careful from thieves who copy the numbers on the back of the gift cards and after finding out the available balance shop online with those numbers. Customers might also receive blank cards while the store employees might pocket the activated cards. One might end up buying phony gift cards too from such scammers.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when it comes to gift cards. Therefore a few basic tips have to be followed when it comes to buying gift cards. Customers have to make sure the gift cards haven`t been tampered with, which could include removing them from their holders and then placing them back. The backs shouldn`t be scratched off either. Employees must be asked to scan those cards making sure they have validity with the right value. You have to hold on to the receipt as a proof of purchases. It is a good idea for recipients to use the gift cards as soon as possible.