It’s important to know that rebate gift cards, customer reward gift cards, and other types of incentive gift cards often come with expiration dates and non-use fees. Since statistics show that the longer you hold onto a gift card, the higher the likelihood you’ll forget to use the card or lose it entirely, I always suggest using any gift card you receive right away. This advice is especially important with cards that expire or can be reduced by fees.
To remember to use my gift cards, I take the following steps:
- Store Prepaid Card in Wallet. I activate the gift card and put it in my wallet next to the debit card I use most often. This reminds me to use the gift card instead of my debit card whenever I get the chance.
- Use Prepaid Cards for Everyday Purchases. Because prepaid debit cards can be used almost anywhere, I try to use them as quickly as possible on the things I’m already planning to buy, like groceries, gas and other essentials. Though not as exciting as buying a new pair of shoes or booking a trip, I am almost guaranteed to use the full value of these gift cards right away–saving the money in my checking account for splurges.
- Use My Online Gift Card Hack. Prepaid debit cards can also be redeemed on most websites. If the dollar amount of the online purchase, however, exceeds the value of the gift card, I turn to this trusty hack for using Visa gift cards online so I can complete the transaction with two forms of payment.