Daily Dupaco

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reasons why we hoard gift cards

Have you ever been on the receiving end of a gift card which sits in your wallet for months-even years--unspent? You're not alone. I'm currently carrying six gift cards that I've owned for at least 10 months.

It's not that these cards are necessarily forgotten. Instead, they are "reserved" for special occasion spending. That sounds perfectly reasonable, until you consider that people (me) will actually visit the restaurant or retailer for whom they are carrying a gift card and pay for their meal or purchase with cash or plastic.

Why do we do this? UCLA marketing professor Suzanne Shu says it has a lot to do with psychology. (Marketplace.publicradio.org Aug. 26)

Shu says gift cards are like rewards, and we feel like we need to create a great occasion around using them. But those occasions sometimes don't present themselves as often as we might think they will.

So this holiday season, as you receive gift cards or certificates make a plan for their use. Save your own hard-earned cash and use those cards for the purchases you would be making anyway. Don't let inactivity fees eat away your balance, or the closing of a retailer rob you of the card's worth. Plan a time to use restaurant, massage, or other service-type gift cards, and don't wait for a "special occasion"-the receipt of the gift card alone can be the special occasion.
Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Please provide your information. Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.
Comment Title:
Please enter the code shown in the image

Thank you. Your comment is being reviewed and if approved, will be posted shortly.

Related Content
Daily Dupaco Archive
Get up to $300 cash back* with a Dupaco Home Equity Line of Credit
For a limited time, get $600 off closing costs with a Dupaco mortgage loan