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Considerations of Gift Cards

Who doesn’t love a gift card? They’re an excellent option to give a loved one or family the fun of picking exactly the present they want– and cutting down on unwanted gifts. So it’s no surprise that more than 80% of gift-givers purchased them during Christmas. With so many shops closing down in the past few years and the country now gripped by recession with the potential of closings to come, are they still a safe option?

Gail Cohen, director general of Gail Cohen, director general of Gift Card and Voucher Association (GCVA) says: ‘This year, we’re able to see that people are turning to gift cards, this time in order to control their spending and stop gifts that are not needed during the current economic crisis. Gift cards help people adhere to a budget and prevent price increases on physical gifts. This is a major aspect for the 44% of consumers planning to reduce their spending for the holidays.’

The GCVA research has shown that 80% of UK adults would be thrilled to receive a gift card this Christmas. 23% of consumers plan to purchase additional gifts this Christmas to lower expenses.

‘When it comes to using credit cards for gifts, our recommendation for customers is to spend them as soon as is possible. They’re not a gift for the bottom drawer but can be a perfect way to pamper yourself during the new year”, says Gail.

However, one of the major drawbacks with gift cards is that it can be useless if the company is shut down before you’ve had a chance to use it. So the advice is always to use it as fast as possible. Helen Dewdney, founder of the consumer rights company The Complaining Cow says: Many have a time period on these. Also, you must spend it! This is crucial with the many retailers that are going into liquidation. If a retailer does, it is very likely that you won’t be able use the gift card. The administration will decide. However, it is better simply spending the money.’

Dean Dunham consumer lawyer says”Shop secure this holiday season paying with a credit card… if you purchase a gift card, purchase one which can be used with multiple retailers.’

We’ve created a comprehensive guide on buying and using gift cards to ensure your purchase is secured and your recipient is able to utilize their gift without hassle. Do you want to know what gift card has the highest rate? Find out on this website.

DO: Pay with credit card.

If you’re purchasing the gift card for a value of more than $100, use the credit card. If the store you purchased the gift card from is bankrupt or closes, the card provider will be jointly liable for your purchase as per Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act, which means you’ll have a greater chance of getting your money back.

If you bought an item from the retailer later going bankrupt using your debit card If you are unable to make contact with your bank to file an appeal within 120 days.

DON’T: forget to do your research

The acquaintance who visits the same café close to work, or the aunt who goes to a nearby garden centre every week may be interested in a gift card from that business. Before purchasing a voucher go through a quick web search and keep an eye on the news to check there aren’t any signs that the business is struggling.

DO: Purchase gift cards that you can use on the internet.

To simplify life for the recipient, opt for the gift card that can be used both in a store and online. The majority of gift cards offer this option nowadays, but it’s still essential to verify on the specifics and rules -You don’t want to give your friend a gift card only to find you have to travel 20 miles in order to use it.

DO NOT: limit your spending to one shop

Why offer a person one alternative when you can gift them a variety of options? The gift card you purchase can be used at multiple stores means that even if businesses go into administration and your loved ones suffer, they will still receive an item they cherish. It’s also a great present if you don’t have a good relationship with the person.

One4all vouchers can be used on the internet, or at a variety of shops, restaurants, charities , and even pet shops. They also provide special gift cards that are themed, like popular with gamers, beauty & spa favourites and popular with teens which can be purchased at retailers that will appeal to these groups.

National Book Tokens are valid in all bookshops in the UK, including Waterstones. You can also send an e-gift card in case you’re looking for a last-minute gift! This is the same for National Garden Gift Vouchers, which are taken at garden centres across the country , and are also you can send them via evouchers.

Do Think outside the box

Gifting cash is a safe choice. However, if you’re buying to give to a child or teenager, ask their parents to see if they have a Junior ISA. Anyone can contribute to an ISA the only thing you’ll need are account details. In addition, they’ll thank you for investing into their future!

Tip: It’s easy for gifts that whizz straight into an account to get forgotten about on the big day, give the recipient/parent/guardian an eye-catching card with the details of your gift in.

DO NOT: disregard expiry dates

How long the validity of a gift card will vary greatly. Check whether it’s by an exact date, or three months, a year, or more when you purchase. It’s good to inform your recipient how long they’ve got to shop. Ireland have introduced a 5 year maximum expiry period for all vouchers that are sold after December 2, 2019. However, when you’re in the UK you’ll need determine how long your recipient will need to wait to avoid your present ending up in the trash.

In the event that the coupon is intended for an event, be sure to determine whether you have to make reservations prior to the expiry date or actually enjoy the experience. Also, check if it is possible to extend the lifespan of the voucher in case you’re required to (this could incur a small fee). Use Resolver to contact the retailer. Even though they’re not obliged to extend the life of your gift card or voucher however, they might do it to show goodwill.

Some gift cards come with no expiration dates: the Apple Store, Disney and Starbucks are just a few the stores that provide this option.

DO: give an experience

For some , the memory of a lifetime is more valuable than an thing, so why don’t you give them the gift of the most memorable day of their lives. Make sure you have checked that the closest opportunity to redeem their gift card isn’t far from where they live.

Virgin Experience Days offer a variety of events from after-dinner tea in Fortnum & Mason to online experiences like Photoshop or cooking courses. The person who receives the voucher will be able to use it online and choose an appointment time and date which is convenient for them. Most vouchers will be valid for one year and must be used within this time.

Buyagift also offers experience vouchers for a stay at a hotel for two nights getaway or a thrilling car driving experience. They offer a variety of day trips throughout all over the UK and the recipient is able to normally choose the place they want to visit. There are vouchers for any budget from $10 money off to vouchers that include gift experience packages up $250. Gifts can be posted or sent directly to an email address.

Theatre Tokens can be used at more than 270 theatres across the country, including The West end. They are not expiring.

Tips: If you’ve wanted a physical gift voucher or gift card through the mail, keep in mind the strike dates and include them in. Be sure to follow the Royal Mail updates.

What if the retailer is unable to continue?

Any person who has an account with that merchant will be considered a creditor and has to submit a claim in writing to the administrator. ‘You’ll then be placed in a queue along alongside other creditor. You’ll, however, be placed at the bottom of your list of creditors and there’s a good chance you won’t get your money back as per Resolver, consumer complaints website.

It’s worth checking if there’s still time to make use of your gift card since sometimes, the administrators ensure that gift cards or vouchers are honored. In the same way, if the store is being bought by another company, it might be able to honor current gift card holders.