It’s Gift Card Time

gifting time

Pros and cons of gift cards

It’s a fact of life, some people can just be difficult to shop for during the holidays. For those loved ones, you might be thinking of just going the gift card route. Before you do, take a look at the pros and cons.

Pros of Gift Cards

  • Easy. Gift cards are available everywhere and are easy to buy and use.

  • Better than Cash. It can sometimes feel “cold” to give cash during the holidays. Gift cards are a nice alternative.

  • Can be Used Anytime. Gift cards usually have a fairly favorable expiration date, so if the person doesn’t use it during the holidays they can just use it at a later time. People like the flexibility gift cards provide.

  • Sets a Limit. Gift cards can be an easy way to avoid overspending. You buy a set limit and that’s it. No falling back on a credit card to help you afford something too expensive.

  • Saves You a Mistake. As we mentioned before, a gift card is a great option for that loved one who you just can’t figure out. The card gives you a way to offer them a present you know they’ll like. No more guessing games.

Cons of Gift Cards

  • Can be Wasteful. Most of the time, people use their gift cards and end up leaving a small amount of money on them. That typically ends up being wasted money.

  • They Can Get Lost. People lose things all the time. There’s always a chance that the loved one will lose the gift card and therefore go without a present. Or, you might end up buying another gift card to make up for the lost one.

  • Some Have Fees. Some gift cards will charge you an “inactivity fee” if the card isn’t used by its expiration date. This is pretty rare, but if it happens to you, you won’t be happy.


Do One Thing: If you’re going the gift card route, find one without a far-away expiration date. Or better yet, no expiration date at all.

Chris O'Shea

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