Gift Cards - What you need to know! - Psychic Sight Blog

Gift Cards – What you need to know!

Gift Card

Gift Cards can make a great present, they can be bought in small or large denominations, depending on who the present is for. They allow the recipient to choose something they will love.

However, there is no doubt that the retail landscape is changing, and with Brexit raging on, this doesn’t look like it will alter any time soon. Many businesses go bust in the first few months of the year, if they have not made enough money during the Christmas period.

So, it is worth knowing a little bit more about Gift Cards, and your rights surrounding them…

Not all cards are equal…

Not all cards are equal. Check the Terms & Conditions before buying. The best option is to choose a card that can be used both in-store and on-line.

It is worth knowing that some brands will only let you use a Gift Card in a stand-alone store, not for example if they have a concession stand within a department store.

When House of Fraser went into administration, there was a lot of uncertainty around them honouring existing gift cards. If you have heard any rumblings about a business struggling, for smaller gifts – cash may be safer.

Larger amounts of money…

If you are thinking about spending a larger amount of money, for example £100 or more. Then paying for the Gift Card with a Credit Card would be a good idea. As this would trigger Section 75 under the Consumer Credit Act, meaning if the business got into trouble and did not honour the gift card, your card provider would be jointly liable for the purchase. There are rules around making a claim – so act fast.

Beware of expiry…

It can be worth finding out the expiry dates of any Gift Card, and highlighting this to the recipient. There is a high variance within this market as to how long you have to spend the money. Some stores offer no expiry date – the best kind, others offer a generous 2 years, but many shops will expect you to spend them within 6 months, or forfeit the money!

A good rule of thumb, is to spend a Gift Card shortly after receiving. Purchasing Pre-Paid Master/Visa Cards, as opposed to Gift Cards, can also give the recipient a wider choice of what to spend the money on. Thereby eliminating the holding on to it whilst they decide what they need.

Alternatives…

If you are giving to children in the family, nieces and nephews whether old or young, it may be worth investigating whether they would prefer money being sent into a savings vehicle. Perhaps they have a Junior ISA, or a Lifetime or Help To Buy ISA?

For further information you may find the Which consumer guide helpful.

   
   

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