There’s a good chance you received a gift card over the holidays, maybe even more than one. Over $100 billion is spent on gift cards annually. They’re easy to give and fun to have, as you get free rein to get whatever you want (within limits).
But before you rush out to the stores, read these tips to help you get the most out of your cards.
Figure Out What You Want
Did you not get something on your wish list? Or maybe you need something to complement a gift you did receive? Think about what you really need/want before you go shopping, otherwise you may fall victim to buyer’s remorse down the road.
Trade with Family if Necessary
Once you figure out what you want, you may find the stores you have gift cards to can’t get you those things. If that’s the case, talk to friends and family. See if they know what they want and if any swapping of cards can take place.
Set an Expiration Date
By law, gift cards are required to be valid for five years from activation. That can make it easy for you to let the card expire in your wallet, so set your own expiration date and make it only a couple months maximum. If you still haven’t used the card, you can regift or reconsider swapping again. If you have a high unused balance, there are apps that let you sell those balances.
Go a Little Over
A lot of people try to stay under their card limit, and so wind up with only a few bucks on their card. If you don’t have a lot left, you’re probably going to forget about that remaining balance.
So you don’t throw away any money, try to find something that goes a little over your card’s limit.