Christmas is a time of goodwill and gifts, but also gift cards. Countless people this holiday season will receive gift cards with various dollar amounts on them.
As popular as they are, $45 billion worth of gift cards go unused every year, according to Finder.com. That’s a lot of money!
Why Clark Says You Should Use Your Gift Cards Fast
If you received a gift card this holiday season, money expert Clark Howard wants you to do one thing: Use it fast.
The reason is because the retail closings of 2019 are sure to continue into 2020. That means if you don’t make it a priority to use your gift card, you could lose it!
“Any gift cards you get for Christmas, burn them quick. Use them quick,” Clark said on his radio show. “The restaurant and retail industry is unstable. Don’t let a gift card sit and gather dust.”
Where to Sell Your Unwanted Gift Cards
If you have a gift card from a retailer or restaurant you don’t like and you know you’re not going to use it, sell it on the internet. Start by comparing your offers at reliable gift card exchange websites.
3 of the Best Gift Card Exchanges Online
These websites offer instant quotes with up to 92% cash back per gift card. CardCash and Carpool also allow you to trade your current gift card for one of similar value at a different retailer.
Gift cards are alternatives to cash gifts, but they’re not as flexible. That’s OK. The main thing is you want to use them wisely.
Here are two major tips that I’d like to leave with you:
- Before you buy: Understand what type of gift card you’re getting — some cards will stipulate that they can only be used in store while others are marked as online only.
- Immediately after you buy: Always check your balance. While balance discrepancies are rare, they do happen. If you check it right after purchase, you’re more likely to get the situation resolved favorably.
As with any financial transaction, always be astute and let common sense be your guide.