Des Moines, Iowa – During the holiday season gift cards are popular presents. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald reminds Iowa consumers to shop smart when it comes to gift cards. “According to the National Retail Federation, 8 in 10 shoppers will give a gift card this holiday season.* Nationally, shoppers will spend an average of $163 on gift cards, up 4% from last year,” Fitzgerald said. “Each year, over a billion dollars in gift cards go unclaimed because cards are lost or forgotten.** Don’t let that happen to your gift. These tips can help you protect the value of the gift you give this season.”
- Ask about expiration dates and fees. If the disclosures are too confusing you may want to avoid purchasing the gift card.
- Buy gift cards from reputable retailers and where you know will be convenient for the recipient to use.
- Give the original receipt and disclosure information to the recipient in the event it is needed to replace a lost or stolen gift card.
- Encourage the recipient to use the gift card right away.