Nearly two thirds of Americans plan on giving gift cards this holiday season. But, as I've said for many years-- it's really not a good idea. Yes, it's easy for you to give out gift cards, and some people may like them, but there are drawbacks.
Consumer Reports says its survey found 27 percent of last year's gift cards were never used-- with an estimated value of 8 billion dollars. What's the problem? More than a third of respondents said they forgot about the gift cards, lost them, or they had expired. Most people said they just didn't have the time to shop and use the cards. Nevertheless, you'll find gift cards for sale just about everywhere because its money in the bank for the sellers.
So, if you must buy a gift card, beware of fees and other charges which vary widely. -- and remember if the company goes out of business the gift card may become worthless.