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(Marketwatch)   How much money in gift cards goes unused every year? A) $1 million. B) $100 million. C) $1 billion   ( marketwatch.com) divider line
    More: Fail, Exonumia, Credit CARD Act of 2009, gift cards, Payment systems, Giving, App Store, gift card  
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803 clicks; posted to Business » on 27 Dec 2017 at 12:36 AM (29 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



30 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2017-12-26 10:02:53 PM  
I've got a $25 iTunes card I've never used. It's about ten years old. They must count that every year.
 
2017-12-26 10:05:07 PM  
I get Visa gift cards from one of my aunts just about every year. And there comes a point where there simply isn't enough left on the card to buy anything of use. What am I supposed to do with a gift card that has $1.36 on it?
 
2017-12-26 10:46:36 PM  

fusillade762: I get Visa gift cards from one of my aunts just about every year. And there comes a point where there simply isn't enough left on the card to buy anything of use. What am I supposed to do with a gift card that has $1.36 on it?


Just use it for a purchase and they'll zero the card out and you pay the rest in cash/whatever.

You don't have to make it come out even.
 
2017-12-26 10:59:01 PM  

fusillade762: I get Visa gift cards from one of my aunts just about every year. And there comes a point where there simply isn't enough left on the card to buy anything of use. What am I supposed to do with a gift card that has $1.36 on it?


You can send yourself an Amazon eGift Card, or add to your Amazon Gift Card balance.
https://www.rather-be-shopping.com/bl​o​g/2015/07/03/turn-unwanted-visa-gift-c​ard-into-amazon-gift-card/
 
2017-12-26 11:43:25 PM  
This article is like fruitcake. There is only one and it gets reprinted every year.
 
2017-12-27 12:25:20 AM  
I use those things to pay off the IRS when they call.
 
2017-12-27 12:34:42 AM  
I went drankin' with a buddy a few weeks ago. Turns out the bill is more than he has in cash.

He usually covers for me when I'm a bit short, so I was happy to pay a little of his tab this time, but he insists he give me SOMETHING in return. So drunkenly he hands me a page of fast food coupons with two missing and a $50 gift card that's been mostly used.

Turns out, that gift card had 9 cents left on it. I was laughing so hard I couldn't even be upset. That's farkin' comedy.
 
2017-12-27 12:55:21 AM  
I dislike BBQ but got given three $20 gift cards to a restaurant. There was a lady begging for a little food money in a thrift store parking lot nect to a Mexican grocery store, believably. So I gave her one of them, and after I left the thrift I saw her walking over there, a few blocks away.

I believe in the moral hazard of giving money to beggars, but she asked for food and I gave her food. One time I was at a gas station waiting for tacos and a guy said he was a dollar short of getting a beer, I gave him the dollar because I knew exactly what he would do with it.

/the sun baked beggars better groomed than me
 
2017-12-27 01:03:27 AM  

wildcardjack: I believe in the moral hazard of giving money to beggars


What moral hazard?

Kindness is a virtue.
 
2017-12-27 01:04:50 AM  
The good thing is that these days gift cards are good for years after they're purchased. Used to be you had one year and then it was just a piece of plastic with a logo on it.
 
2017-12-27 01:06:22 AM  

wildcardjack: I dislike BBQ but got given three $20 gift cards to a restaurant. There was a lady begging for a little food money in a thrift store parking lot nect to a Mexican grocery store, believably. So I gave her one of them, and after I left the thrift I saw her walking over there, a few blocks away.

I believe in the moral hazard of giving money to beggars, but she asked for food and I gave her food. One time I was at a gas station waiting for tacos and a guy said he was a dollar short of getting a beer, I gave him the dollar because I knew exactly what he would do with it.

/the sun baked beggars better groomed than me


I never understood people who say not to give homeless cash because they'll just spend it on booze. My reply is usually, "So? If I was homeless, I'd want to get drunk as often as I could too".
 
2017-12-27 01:10:33 AM  

optikeye: fusillade762: I get Visa gift cards from one of my aunts just about every year. And there comes a point where there simply isn't enough left on the card to buy anything of use. What am I supposed to do with a gift card that has $1.36 on it?

Just use it for a purchase and they'll zero the card out and you pay the rest in cash/whatever.

You don't have to make it come out even.


This. Run the gift card, then run your credit/debit card to take care of the rest, a couple bucks is a couple bucks, no sense wasting it.
 
2017-12-27 01:17:00 AM  
Funny how we have threads where people biatch about getting unwanted gifts, yet someone gives you a gift card and just as many biatch about that. I just don't get it. Sure, people sometimes lose them, but people lose cash too.

At least with a gift card, your giving the person the chance to go out and buy something for themselves they'll like and use, and they will know who the gift card came from. With cash, they'll just stick it in their pocket and spend it on the next expense that comes along, likely not even thinking about who gave it to them.
 
2017-12-27 01:17:59 AM  

ReapTheChaos: wildcardjack: I dislike BBQ but got given three $20 gift cards to a restaurant. There was a lady begging for a little food money in a thrift store parking lot nect to a Mexican grocery store, believably. So I gave her one of them, and after I left the thrift I saw her walking over there, a few blocks away.

I believe in the moral hazard of giving money to beggars, but she asked for food and I gave her food. One time I was at a gas station waiting for tacos and a guy said he was a dollar short of getting a beer, I gave him the dollar because I knew exactly what he would do with it.

/the sun baked beggars better groomed than me

I never understood people who say not to give homeless cash because they'll just spend it on booze. My reply is usually, "So? If I was homeless, I'd want to get drunk as often as I could too".


Well, he had a car. I could forsee him buying a 40 and going home. This was projects adjacent. I could see him going home, drinking what I consider a moderate amount of alcohol, and nodding off.

/I have a hangover preventative for upto a pint of raw ethanol
//so far
 
2017-12-27 02:53:01 AM  

ReapTheChaos: optikeye: fusillade762: I get Visa gift cards from one of my aunts just about every year. And there comes a point where there simply isn't enough left on the card to buy anything of use. What am I supposed to do with a gift card that has $1.36 on it?

Just use it for a purchase and they'll zero the card out and you pay the rest in cash/whatever.

You don't have to make it come out even.

This. Run the gift card, then run your credit/debit card to take care of the rest, a couple bucks is a couple bucks, no sense wasting it.


Bucks? I used a 50 Cent balance on groceries once. Money is money.
 
2017-12-27 04:25:17 AM  
Thanks, from someone who works in the gift card business, for buying them.

On Sunday we peaked at nearly 275,000 transactions per hour.
 
2017-12-27 08:54:23 AM  

fusillade762: I get Visa gift cards from one of my aunts just about every year. And there comes a point where there simply isn't enough left on the card to buy anything of use. What am I supposed to do with a gift card that has $1.36 on it?


You don't need to spend the exact amount.  Most modern POS terminals will charge the$1.36 then let you use another method for the rest.

Or if you don't want to deal with that, just buy an Amazon gift card for any precise amount you want over $1.
 
2017-12-27 09:09:25 AM  

edmo: I've got a $25 iTunes card I've never used. It's about ten years old. They must count that every year.


I have two of those sitting on my desk right now. I probably should get a couple of audiobooks, but I'm just too lazy.
 
2017-12-27 01:18:14 PM  
NSFW language and all, but this GradeA UnderA video has really changed my opinion of buying gift cards:
Why Gift Cards Are A Scam
Youtube xj-7_YU-KIs
 
2017-12-27 01:33:15 PM  
I dislike gift cards. I was given one for Subway, I don't like their food. I was given one for Chipotle. I gave it away. Gift cards are a complete waste of money, plastic and time.

/I'm great at parties
//No, I'm not
///threes
 
2017-12-27 01:50:08 PM  

edmo: I've got a $25 iTunes card I've never used. It's about ten years old. They must count that every year.


I pay my Netflix subscription through my iTunes account. I could use that up easily.
Load it to your iTunes account and it'll be there, whenever you want to purchase a song or app. Hell, you could buy or rent a few movies and it'll be gone before you know it.
 
2017-12-27 02:32:01 PM  

ReapTheChaos: I never understood people who say not to give homeless cash because they'll just spend it on booze. My reply is usually, "So? If I was homeless, I'd want to get drunk as often as I could too".


You never understood the difference between someone trying to feed people food and someone trying to pay for their alcohol.

Ok.
 
2017-12-27 03:17:33 PM  

doglover: wildcardjack: I believe in the moral hazard of giving money to beggars

What moral hazard?

Kindness is a virtue.


I give money to beggars I believe there's a moral hazard to advise people not to.
 
2017-12-27 03:24:33 PM  

ReapTheChaos: Funny how we have threads where people biatch about getting unwanted gifts, yet someone gives you a gift card and just as many biatch about that. I just don't get it. Sure, people sometimes lose them, but people lose cash too.

At least with a gift card, your giving the person the chance to go out and buy something for themselves they'll like and use, and they will know who the gift card came from. With cash, they'll just stick it in their pocket and spend it on the next expense that comes along, likely not even thinking about who gave it to them.


That's not true with me, though. I know when I am given a gift, whatever it is, I remember it and am grateful for it. Cash can sometimes be the best gift of all, because sometimes a gift card can get 'eaten' in a machine and it takes time to be replaced.
 
2017-12-27 03:25:53 PM  

donutsauce: ReapTheChaos: I never understood people who say not to give homeless cash because they'll just spend it on booze. My reply is usually, "So? If I was homeless, I'd want to get drunk as often as I could too".

You never understood the difference between someone trying to feed people food and someone trying to pay for their alcohol.

Ok.


I know the difference between giving in a judgemental way and giving in a nonjudgemental way, though.

And even if you say no to a beggar, there is a RIGHT way to do it, and that involves manners and treating the asker like a human being. It's degrading enough to have to ask, why add to it?
 
2017-12-27 04:31:33 PM  
This is a great article to illustrate how people need to be more aware of large magnitudes.

Is a billion dollars really a lot of money, or not? It's not really. There are about 315 million people in the US, which means we have a per-person gift card deficit of about $3.17. If you look at the numbers in the article, $130 billion was spent on gift cards, but $1 billion was unclaimed, meaning the actual utilization was 99.2%, and 0.8% was wasted (though it could still just be claimed next year).
 
2017-12-27 09:55:50 PM  
I wonder how much of this is from gift cards that were accidentally lost/thrown out, etc.....now those dollar amounts are going to be sitting in some companies' bank for decades.
 
2017-12-28 12:17:35 AM  
My son pestered me for research and opinions about various cryptocurrencies for a week.  Then he bought some Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.  He totally ignored my recommendation of Ripple.  Guess which was one of 2-3 coins that gained slightly while the others lost 20-25% last week.
 
2017-12-28 03:33:46 AM  

doglover: wildcardjack: I believe in the moral hazard of giving money to beggars

What moral hazard?

Kindness is a virtue.


You know those signs in our national parks that say "don't feed the animals"?

It's kinda like that.
 
2017-12-28 11:53:37 AM  
The total amount of unused cards is large but that's only because more people use them.   The % of card value that actually goes unclaimed has been going down for years.  When I started in the giftcard industry it was something like 15%, now it's more like 3%.
 
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