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Maverick Bell
Maverick Bell

Do Best Buy Gift Cards Lose Value

Scammers favor gift cards because they are easy for people to find and buy, and they have fewer protections for buyers compared to some other payment options. Scammers can get quick cash, the transaction is largely irreversible, and they can remain anonymous.

do best buy gift cards lose value

Scammers also tell people where to buy the gift cards. In the first nine months of 2021, people who reported losing money buying gift cards mentioned Target stores more than other retailers. Reports suggest that Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, and Walgreens stores are also popular with scammers.

5 From January 2021 through September 2021, 12,239 people reported losing $35.5 million to business impersonators using gift cards, and 7,844 people reported losing $39.6 million to government impersonators using gift cards. Excluding reports that did not indicate a contact method, a phone call was the method of contact in 37% of reports indicating gift cards as the method of payment, followed by email (18%) and social media (16%).

Galan says a common scam with these cards, not only in the Coastal Bend, but across Texas and the rest of the country, happens when some people go to the store and "they'll go pick a few. Scratch off that protective seal off the back, take the numbers, and then the cards holds no more value."

"If you're buying some of those VISA vanilla gift cards, those kind of large, general gift cards that aren't to a specific place, those are typically the ones that are going to lose value if you don't use them."

Some states, like Delaware and New York, have passed laws that entitle the state to unclaimed property, including gift card money. But by and large, the corporations who issue the cards still get to keep most unused gift card funds.

The good news is that there is now an entire ecosystem of sites where gift cards can be exchanged for cash at anywhere from 60% to 90% of the value of the card. In a matter of minutes, a $50 gift card can be converted into $40 of legal tender.

Stores and restaurants absolutely love gift cards because of unorganized people like me. But with a few simple steps, you can easily protect those valuable gift card balances in the event you lose or misplace one.

This is clearly the most obvious, yet overlooked, step to protect yourself. It's often overlooked because the gift card giver doesn't always include the receipt with the card. But if they do, or if you bought the gift card yourself, then by all means stash the receipt someplace safe. In the event you lose the card, you can simply call the retailer or restaurant customer service line and they can access your account balance via the activation receipt. They'll then easily re-issue you a new card.

If you don't have a receipt, then you can just put pen to paper and copy down the gift card numbers for safe keeping. While this can seem a tedious exercise for a measly $5 Starbucks gift card, you'll be glad you did if you lose a $100 Best Buy card.

Many retailers and restaurants allow you to actually register your card with them online. Some of the more popular include Crate & Barrel, Starbucks, and Tully's Coffee. By doing so, you get balance protection and a quick replacement card in the event you lose yours. Also, you can often use your gift card for rewards and earn free treats and reward points. The Starbucks gift card is famous for this.

By treating gift cards like cash (which they essentially are), you'll be more proactive when it comes to protecting their balances. By doing just a little bit of work to protect yourself, you'll never be stuck buying a burrito again after you were sure it would be free. Or is that just my story?

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (Credit CARD) Act provides several protections for consumers who purchase certain types of gift cards, including store and restaurant (also known as merchant) gift cards. These cards can only be redeemed at the stores and restaurants that sell them. Bank gift cards, which carry the logo of a payment card network (e.g., Visa, MasterCard), are also subject to Credit CARD Act protections and can be used wherever the brand is accepted.

Another common scam is someone who poses as an attorney for a family member and claims that the family member is in trouble with the law and needs assistance. They contact you by phone or email, and ask you to purchase gift cards in specific amounts to pay them. These are all red flags to a scam, and once you purchase the gift cards, the scammers will tell you to provide them with the code numbers and PINs that are usually located on the back of cards so that the scammer can redeem them.

Gift cards are just like cash. The buyer loads a specific amount onto the gift card, and then the recipient can use that card to make a purchase. They are often associated with specific businesses, but some credit card companies offer their own gift cards that act similarly to debit cards.

In some states, gift cards may not ever expire. In addition, with Mastercard and American Express gift cards, funds never expire. However, the physical card itself may need to be replaced by a certain date. All you have to do is call the number on the back of the card and they will issue a new one.

Chances are you received or gave gifts cards this holiday season. Gift card sales have been growing, and pre-paid plastic is now a mainstream financial product that's also getting traction on mobile devices.

But in 2009, following the lead of many states, Congress enacted consumer protections for cards. Under federal law, gift cards cannot expire for at least five years after activation and inactivity fees are limited.

About a decade ago, the company says, about a 10th of the value of gift cards went unused. People held onto them. Now that's down to about 1 percent, as fewer people let cards languish in junk drawers and wallets. CEB analyst Brian Riley says consumers have a better understanding of gift cards now.

Riley cautioned that it's not a good idea to trust a retailer to be around forever. Gift cards from retailers that go bankrupt are likely to be worth little or nothing. Customers of the bankrupt and defunct Borders bookstore chain, for instance, were left with $210 million in worthless gift cards.

With the rise of smartphones, more and more retailers are offering electronic gift cards that can be delivered within minutes to mobile devices or computers. The cards can be personalized with photos and messages.

"For the ultimate procrastinators, we sell e-gift cards online every day, all day," said Jeff Shelman, a Best Buy spokesman. "If you don't have a gift for someone, you can go to and get one, even though our stores are closed."

At Target, customers can buy, send and use gift cards on smartphones. They can move the value of a physical card to a phone, split the value of a gift card among several phones or combine the value of several cards on one phone.

Tomas Campos oversees digital products for Cardpool, one of several online firms that buy and sell gift cards. "We really help consumers who end up with a gift card they can't use get as much value for it as they can," Campos said.

Popular gift cards available at Gift Card Granny include those from Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Home Depot, iTunes, Starbucks, Target and Walmart. Typically, you can either sell the gift card directly to the website (for less money) or list the card for sale yourself (potentially for more money).

Purchases of gift cards on are limited to $1,000 per transaction. If you would like to purchase multiple gift cards and will exceed the $1,000 limit, you can use the Corporate & Volume Sales order form.

You can order more than $1,000 worth of Southwest gift cards by clicking on Corporate and Volume Sales. Image Credit: SouthwestHow To Earn Tons of Points Buying Gift CardsWhether buying a gift card for yourself or as a gift for someone else, they can be a great way to rack up tons of Southwest Rapid Rewards points! The key is using the right credit card at the right retailer.

Gift cards are easy to redeem for flights online. Image Credit: SouthwestHot Tip: You can use 3 forms of payment, including Southwest gift cards, LUV Vouchers, and Flight Credits, per person on each reservation.

Southwest gift cards are good for the purchase of flights booked directly with Southwest. You can use gift cards online, over the phone, or in person at a Southwest ticket counter. Gift cards can also be applied to taxes and fees associated with your ticket.

Hot Tip: You can use up to 3 forms of payment per person per reservation. This can include any combination of gift cards, Flight Credits, and LUV Vouchers plus 1 credit card or PayPal account per transaction.

Southwest Airlines offers 3 distinct forms of payment that require a little know-how to use: gift cards, Flight Credits, and LUV Vouchers. All 3 can be used to purchase Southwest flights online, over the phone, or at a ticket counter. However, they all have different rules as far as expiration dates, what they can be applied to, and who can use them.

For instance, I live in Pennsylvania, and every year, the regional grocery store chain Giant Eagle offers $0.20 off per gallon of gas for every $50 you spend in gift cards. They sell gift cards for hundreds of retailers, like Amazon, Best Buy, Netflix, and Hulu. So, when I bought a TV and an Apple TV on Cyber Monday, I first gifted myself $300 of Best Buy bucks and cashed in a $1.20 per gallon discount.

Here are the terms and conditions:Can be used to buy merchandise & services at stores/kiosks operated by Verizon or at Gift cards cannot be used at Verizon Authorized Retailer locations. Gift cards can be used to pay a Verizon Wireless or Fios bill by visiting or using the My Verizon app (wireless bills only) or My Fios app. Do not mail card with your bill. For card balance call 1.800.876.4141 or dial #GIFT (#4438) from your wireless device. Gift cards are non-refundable and cannot be returned for a cash refund, except in those states as required by law. Purchase & use of gift card constitutes acceptance of all terms & conditions. Treat this card like cash, Verizon is not responsible for gift cards that have been lost, stolen, or damaged. Gift cards do not expire and are not subject to dormancy or other fees. Gift cards may not be used for resale, advertising, marketing, sweepstakes or other promotional purposes without consent. 041b061a72


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