Thinking about giving gift cards as presents for the holidays? Here are a few things to keep in mind, from the State of New York Comptrollers office:

Gift cards may have terms and conditions that can decrease the value of the gift card. These may include charging:

  • Service fees when the card is purchased;

  • Dormancy fees if the gift card is not used within a certain period of time;

  • Fees to call and check the balance remaining on the card; and

  • Replacement fees for lost or stolen gift cards.

Remember to read the fine print when purchasing the cards. You might miss something like the gift card is only good at the one store that you purchased it at, not at any of the other stores that are a part of that company.

Encourage people to use their gift cards shortly after receiving them. The encouragement can even come in the form of including a coupon that you have from that particular store.

Also encourage recipients to register their gift cards with the company, just in case they are lost at a later date.

Have you come across some 'gift card' tips that you would like to share?