Tips for getting the most from your gift card.
Spend it as soon as you can in case the store sells or goes into receivership.
Don’t buy something you don’t need just to spend it. It makes no more sense to do so with a gift card than with cash.
If you are contemplating a purchase, ask yourself whether your gift card can be used.
Set a reminder or make a diary entry for a month before the expiry date to remind yourself to spend it. (If you’re not going to keep it in your wallet or purse, add a note to remind you where you put it.)
Spend the entire value even if it means supplementing it with a bit of cash. Statistically, you are unlikely to ever return to spend a residual few dollars and it will be money wasted. If the card expires, approach the retailer as soon as you notice. If not much time has passed, chances are it will be honoured. Even if it is old, you might be in luck. The merchant wants your custom and knows that most people who come in with a gift card spend more than its value.
If you are buying a gift card for someone, choose one that is valid at a range of stores. It will make it easier to spend.