By Jim Donovan
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Did you get a gift card this holiday? Well what about an e-gift card? Whether it’s the old fashioned type or the new fangled version, 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan has some advice for getting the most out of them.
A recent consumer survey found that 27 percent of people, that’s one in four of us, only use up to half the value of our gift cards when shopping.
E-gift cards were one of easiest gifts to give this holiday – sent directly to a recipients email, or smart phone. “It’s saved in your inbox, especially if you’re sending it via email, so there’s no worry about you losing it, or it ending up under a stack of papers on your desk,” says Scott Gamm of the personal finance website HelpSaveMyDollars.com.
For keeping track of multiple e-gift cards, Gamm recommends an app like Tango Card to organize them.
He says, “When it comes time to use the gift card in the store, the cashier can actually scan that bar code on the smart phone or manually enter in the numbers listed on the smart phone and it’s a great way to digitally organize all of your gift cards, you don’t have to worry about losing them or forgetting them.”
According to Gamm, “It’s a great way to get cash for a gift card that honestly you’re never going to use so you might as well get the cash now, rather than forgetting about the gift card and not redeeming it.”
Web sites that allow you to buy, sell, or trade gift cards aren’t all created equal. So be sure that your dealing with a reputable site before sending in any cards and be sure your clear as to their terms and conditions. In most cases these companies take a percentage off the face value of the card as a service fee for handling your swap or sale.