Monday, December 4, 2006

Gift Cards...a Great Gift for Whom?

It used to be that every X-mas card from Aunt Louisa would come with two crisp Andrew Jackson's. (Actually, for me, those days aren't over. But cash-givers seem to be a dying breed.)

For those who prefer not to give cash, would you rather gift your (Insert: mom, dad, daughter, son, friend, or mom's friend's son's daughter's cousin) with money that demands that s/he spend it in a particular store or mall? money that s/he would have to do some extremely meticulous math in order to get the most "bang for your-now-his buck"? Would you rather gift money in a form that demands that all surplus be absorbed by the store, mall, or merchant who issues it?

If so, then, you'll want to check this out; brought to us by MSN Money and Bankrate, the gift card comparison chart & important accompanying details.

As you can tell, I don't believe in giftcards. But I still keep getting them, and I certainly appreciate them all the same. But always wonder: What's the attraction? I'd rather get a good ol' fashioned present, or just cold, hard cash. To me, both can convey the giving spirit. In fact, I'd rather give someone $50 knowing s/he can use all of it, than give a $50 giftcard that I know s/he can't! I don't find cash to be an inappropriate gift at I the only one?

Update: For more info on the "secondary market" of buying, selling, and trading gift cards, go here. Note that most of the sites mentioned seem to charge a percentage - even for trades - diminishing the spending value of the gift card even more.


TAH said...

Love cash. A friend recently bought me a gift card for Ann Taylor for my birthday. But I can't use it because their clothes are too big!!

Golbguru said...

Sometimes I think gift-cards are "last desperate resort" to people who haven't thought about a good gift. May be it's just that. I would like a cash gift too instead of a gift card.

BTC said...

My friend recently bought me a gift card to a store I HATE. I agree with you. If you don't want to go through the trouble of choosing a gift, just give me the cash

WH said...

TAH, maybe you can trade your gift card! See links in "update"...good luck!

Dear All, Something to think about: I still have qualms about giving others cash - even though I know I would appreciate it you?