Debit Gift Cards - Watch The Money Disappear
Have you ever run to Walgreens on the way to a persons birthday party or special event and grab an appropriate greeting card and then stand at the gift card display, lost! You stand there racking your brain, will the person appreciate the Best Buy card or the gift card for Applebee’s. What about a Bed Bath and Beyond card or a movie theater gift card, wait what theaters are close to their home? The options are endless. So you say “Screw it!” and just grab the VISA gift card. What you don’t realize is you are about to give a faulty gift card to someone. Ultimately you made the wrong choice at the gift card display.
What you might not realize, that $50 Visa Gift card your purchased, is no longer $50 after you pay for the card. As soon as the card is activated, an avalanche of fees begin to build on the card. There is the initial activation fee which ranges from $1.50 to $3.00. There are monthly service fees and a monthly finance charges. Yes, your friends gift card is being charged finance charges for holding a credit balance.
Keep in mind, most people don’t just jump at the receipt of a visa gift like they would to something like a iTunes or amazon card. I am guilty of this. We have a box at the back of the desk drawer with stack of gift cards. After some time I realize that there were visa gift cards in the stack and I attempt to use them. One Christmas, I received a $100 visa gift card from a family member and in time for Christmas shopping, I figured I would purchase a nice little treat with my visa gift card. My $89.00 photographer collection book transaction on Amazon was DECLINED. I call the phone number on the back of the card and find out there is only an available balance of $4.39 still left on the card. I ask the customer service rep to please let me know what I purchased and she said “NOTHING”.
The only debits on the card over that whole year since I received the card, were fees! Yes, can you believe it, the card had over $95 of fees on it. So that $100 that family member paid for the gift card, less than $5.00 remained on the card for me to enjoy. Visa gift cards are scam to take your money. When you find yourself at the local drug store grabbing a last minute gift card. Move away from Visa and just grab a iTunes card or Amazon card. Any gift debit card, VISA, Master Card or American Express will drain you dry.