A gift card is perhaps one of the most common and innocent gifts that someone could give you. They’re extremely simple, they’re basic, but they’re ultimately very useful if you get a gift card for a store that you actually care about. However, gift cards can be deceptively bad for our finances, and here are a couple of reasons why.
Gift cards make you buy more than you want to
It’s really common to end up spending more than you wanted to if you use a gift card. For example, if you get a $50 gift card for a store, then you might end up spending something like $75 or more because you have a “free” $50 gift. While this is true in the most literal sense, you might actually end up spending way more than you hoped to. For example, a gift card could make something like a new smartphone or tablet more affordable, but you might end up spending more down the line because you want to get accessories and upgrades for it.
At the end of the day, you can save money by not using gift cards at all. Alternatively, make sure you never go above the gift card’s value. This ensures that you don’t buy anything that requires more purchases later on.
Gift cards make you buy from stores that might not be a great value
One of the annoying things about using gift cards is that you’re forced to buy things from a specific store. This generally isn’t a problem if it’s a large store, but there are many situations where you could just buy it from Amazon or a cheaper place online and save money.
Paying retail prices at a store usually means you’re paying more for an item. If you’re forced to use a gift card, then it essentially means you’re wasting money. This is one of the reasons why people don’t like using gift cards and would much prefer if they could just get a cash gift. If you have to give a gift card, then it’s best to choose a large retailer such as Amazon.
What can you do with gift cards?
So what exactly can you do with a gift card?
The best choice is to actually just sell it. You can either sell them to a friend or family member for less than their value, or you can sell Newegg gift cards, Apple gift cards, and other major gift cards by looking for online services. You give them your code, they check the value, then they’ll give you money for the card.
This is one of the best ways to get rid of your gift cards if you can’t sell them to a friend or family member.
As you can see, gift cards are deceptively bad for our finances and it’s usually best not to use them. In the future, you could always just ask for money instead of a gift card, or just sell them to gain as much of the monetary value back as possible.