Social Question

Jeruba's avatar

Have you ever received a gift certificate or gift card that you simply never used? How about more than one?

Asked by Jeruba (53629points) August 26th, 2020

Why did you hang onto them? Why didn’t you use them or give them to someone who could?

One time might have been forgetfulness. More than once: what’s that about?

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7 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I got a $100 gift certificate for a specific store that is the flagship for a line of clothing I wear. But the store itself is in San Francisco, in a part of town I rarely get to, and when I went (once or twice a year) I would forget the gift certificate at home.

But I valued it so I kept it safe.

I had that thing for almost thirty years. Most of the employees weren’t as old as the gift certificate. One day I finally decided to make a special trip into the city and used it. No hassles and the honored it in full.

jca2's avatar

Yes. I have (or had) a little box with my unused gift cards in it, somewhere in the vicinity of my bedroom dresser. I can’t find the box and am hoping it didn’t get thrown out. The law in my state is such that the gift cards will not expire. Now, if the store happens to go out of business, then I’m shit outta luck. Fingers crossed. In that box are a bunch.

I also have a baggie in my room that has newer ones – Barnes and Noble, etc. I will get to using them one day.

kritiper's avatar

I have given some away, others have languished to the point they were worthless.

Jeruba's avatar

So—why? Why keep them and not use them? That’s what I’m wondering.

I’m thinking about the fact that they amount to an interest-free loan to the issuer (or maybe they even charge the buyer for the privilege) and ultimately a gift to them if they’re never used, and that the longer we wait to use them, the more their actual value decreases (purchasing power) from when they were issued.

So what’s the benefit to saving them, or what’s the resistance to spending them?

From the issuer’s point of view, do they know that a certain percentage are going to be just free money for them?

zenvelo's avatar

”...what’s the resistance to spending them? It isn’t always convenient to use them; one has to make a concerted effort to go to that store, and remember to take the gift card with you. That is why on line cards get used right away, just go online and load it into your account, and it is there the next time you shop.

“From the issuer’s point of view, do they know that a certain percentage are going to be just free money yes, they now, which is why they encourage people giving them as presents.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I’ve got one Macy’s gift card original value $50.00 current balance $4.35 ! There were three other $50.00 card use those up. No other gift cards right now, waiting for one from Pet Pharmacy company.
I used some of the Macy’s cards on-line, easy-peasy.

JLeslie's avatar

I can think of two, but there might be more. One was $10 for a restaurant. Another was a $25 card if I returned to a store within 6 months and I didn’t. I probably could have used it online. Now that I think about it, if you found coupons that are worth money if you return that’s happened a few times. Coupons that you don’t have to spend a certain amount to get money off, but literally if it is worth $10 you can just buy $10 of merchandise for free and nothing else.

I try my best to spend gift cards fast. I just said to my husband this morning I have a gift card for a costume jewelry store here and I want to spend it this week. I’m afraid I’ll lose it or they could even close down (I hope not) before I ever buy anything. The friend who gave it to me knew I wanted bracelets from the store, but I had bought the bracelets a week before she gave me the card.

I regift cards if the opportunity arises if I’m not going to use it fast even if I like the store.

I ask people to give me Target or Walmart cards if they ask me so I can quickly buy groceries and get rid of it. Or, Starbucks for my husband.

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