Gift cards that do not give

Gift cards that do not give

By Karen Stiles. CREATED Dec 11, 2012

MILWAUKEE - Are you thinking a gift card might be the perfect gift to give this holiday season?

Before you buy, watch out. You could be paying for a gift that will never give.

What kind of problems could you have with a gift card?

Every year, we get complaints about gift cards that become worthless when the restaurant or store goes out of business, unexpected fees that eat up the value of the card, or cards that do not work because of problems with activation.

How do we steer clear from giving a gift card that does not work?

- Before you buy, make sure that the restaurant or store has no plans of going out of business.

- Ask about any fees or restrictions that may be associated with the card.

- Inspect the card to be sure that security strips or pin numbers have not be tampered with.

- When giving the card, attach an activation receipt, just in case a problem should arise later.

Is there anything you can do if you have an unused card for a store or restaurant that goes out of business?

Although you may be out of luck, you might want to see if a new business in that location or a competing business will honor the card or offer a discount.

They may be willing to do this as a means to earn your future business.