Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Another Reason I Don't Like Gift Cards

I have never been a fan of gift cards. While touted to be as good as cash, I never thought they were. First, gift cards are limited to being used at one store or group of stores. Second, the products that I need to buy may not be offered by the store. Third, gift cards are high maintenance, needing to be managed and tracked on their own.

Now I have a fourth reason for not liking gift cards. Bankruptcy makes gift cards worthless describes how The Sharper Image has temporarily stopped honoring its gift cards since it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last month. It has been estimated that The Sharper Image has issued as much as $25 million of gift cards. Worst yet, the gift card holders may never get their money back, since they are considered unsecured debt holders, who often get little or no money from a bankrupt company.

Right now, we have about five gift cards from three major retailers and two local restaurants, mostly due to rewards programs in which we participate. While I don't expect any of the establishments to go out of business soon, I will make an effort to "enjoy" the cards in the next few months:-)

For more on Ideas You Can Use, check back every Tuesday for a new segment.

This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

Copyright © 2008 Achievement Catalyst, LLC

No comments: