Last minute gift shopping? Read this before buying a gift card.

Last minute gift shopping? Read this before buying a gift card.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a gift card. (Source: Pexels)

(KFVS) - If you’re shopping for a few gifts later in the holiday season you aren’t alone.

Gift cards often become the last minute idea for gift givers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing a gift card, according to the Better Business Bureau:

  • Be cautious. It is pretty much impossible to tell whether the card has value remaining if you’re buying a gift card online. It’s also hard to tell whether they’ve been tampered with or if they’ve expired.
  • If you’re picking up a gift card from a store, check the packaging and any security seals to be sure they are intact and haven’t been broken.
  • Check to see if there are fees associated with the card. There could be transaction fees or inactivity fees. In some cases, an organization may charge a service fee to issue the card or a replacement card.
  • See if the card has an expiration date.
  • Check the terms and conditions on a gift card.
  • Consider the financial condition of the retailer.
  • Consumers can learn how to protect themselves or find BBB Business Profiles and BBB Charity Reviews by calling 888-996-3887 or by going online to bbb.org.

Protections for consumers who receive gift cards are available. The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act provides requires that card balances remain valid for five years after issuance or after they were last loaded with money.

BBB officials said fees and expiration dates may still apply, however, and fees can erode the value of the cards.

The BBB encourages consumers to be sure that the websites where they buy gift cards are secure. A secure website will use “https://” in the website address of the pages there a shopper enters payment information.

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