So many recognition have been given to gift cards for the numerous incentives it offers its holders over cash and the other numerous payment methods. The growing recognition of gift cards as a medium of payment for purchases made on certain retail stores like Amazon, Google Play Store, Apple Store, etc, have induced the idea that gift cards may as well seize the position of a legal tender in both online and offline retail stores, very soon.

The good thing about gift cards is that they can be converted to cash or even crypto if one does not see the need to redeem them by purchasing items from a retail store.

While some believe that it is a very good idea to send friends and family those boxes of gifts during festive seasons, many believe it will be in their best interest to give them a gift card for some reasons like;

Why Gift Cards Are A Good Option

  1. It’s the best way to gift someone and allow them to make their choice of gifts in the stores without deciding on their behalf.
  2. It can be used to purchase items without cash or prepaid debit card.
  3. It helps the user to avoid bank charges and control spending.
  4. It’s safe to use and there’s protection against loss or theft by freezing the card without losing the money 
  5. It’s very simple and convenient to use.

The above might just sound like the perfect reasons you should deviate from your daily routine of paying all those bills with your debit cards and avoid accumulating those annoying charges on your card, or, at least, buy your friends whatever they need, within your budget, without racking your brain to make that choice for them.

However, there are some scenarios in which if you find yourself, all the sweetness that you can enjoy with your gift card, may just go to waste.

When Are Gift Cards Useless?

Gift cards may seem to be useless in some cases like;

1. When it is expired

Gift Cards always have an expiry date but some merchants give room for a replacement for a token. Also, gift cards that are inactive for 12 consecutive months are charged about a $4.95  service fee by some merchants.

2. When the funds are exhausted

 Of course, the validity of the card is the monetary value of the gift card, so the gift card becomes useless when the funds are exhausted. You only need to reload funds into the card if you are using a readable gift card.

3. When the card is stolen or lost

Gift cards become useless when it’s lost or stolen, it’s impossible to recover, especially when the card has not been registered or the card number was not recorded.

4. When the card is irredeemable on the store of choice

The purpose of a gift card is to make purchases both online and offline but some gift cards are limited to certain retail stores(close looped gift cards). This means that they can never be redeemed anywhere else, except in the designated stores. If these stores do not sell the items the recipient desires, the gift card is useless to them.

Eg: iTunes gift cards are only used to buy digital content like music, movies, and apps on the Apple and iTunes stores. If I take pleasure in purchasing only electronic appliances inline, then an Amazon gift card could have been a better choice. iTunes gift card becomes useless to me.