Finance Friday: Handling Holiday Gift Cards

It’s that time of year when your wallet may bulk up with plastic – plastic gift cards that is. With 75.2% of adults planning to purchase at least one gift card this season, you are bound to find one with your name on it under the tree. *

Because gift cards are often as easy to spend as cash, they are also as necessary to protect. Follow these tips to keep your gift cards safe and ready for spending this season:

  • Keep that activation receipt – Tempting to toss it, but keep the activation receipt as record of the card purchase. And be sure to include the activation receipt when you gift the card as well!
  • Jot down the numbers – Record the gift card numbers and keep that note in a safe place (not the same location as your gift card though.)
  • Try saving gift cards in a virtual wallet - Try out a techy twist and save the gift card virtually in an app such as Google Wallet.
  • A picture is worth a thousand words (or several dollars!) – Not ready to go virtual? Simply take a photo of the back and front of your card and you’ll always have it with you on your phone.
  • Register with the retailer – Most retailers allow you to register you card and save it for later use. Take advantage of this service and cut down on saving the physical card in your wallet.

Protect those gift cards like cash and they will certainly bring stress-free shopping throughout the year!

*Source: National Retail Federation Retail Insight Center via Prosper Insights & Analytics TM Monthly Consumer Survey