The Smartest Way to Use Gift CardsOctober 2020
If you received a gift card over the holidays, chances are you’re happy about it. After all, what’s not to like? Gift cards allow you to buy some awesome stuff without taking money out of your pocket — at least in theory.
But gift cards can be a mixed blessing. Forget you have one and it can sit in your drawer, unused, for ages. Receive one for a store you don’t care for and you may find yourself buying things you’d really rather not. Or maybe you’ll overspend and find yourself using that R650 Mr Price Home gift card for a R1000.00 lampshade you don’t really need.
Here are ways to make sure your gift cards stay a blessing — not a curse.
1. Spend it sooner rather than later
If you intend to use your gift card, it’s better to act fast.
Consumer shopping patterns continue to shift and brick-and-mortar retailers shut their doors — 2020 saw an increase in the number of retail stores closing their doors due to the coronavirus.
And the quicker you use a gift card, the less likely you are to forget about it.
2. Don’t want to spend? Regift, resell or donate
If you receive a gift card for a store with no nearby location, or one that you simply have no interest in visiting, you can get rid of the card by regifting, reselling or donating it.
“It’s important to do an honest assessment right from the beginning and think, ‘Am I really going to use this or is this a stretch?’” says Jarryd from Cards Plus
Find a friend or family member who will appreciate your unwanted present. And if you can’t, sell it to somebody else.
Or consider donating your gift card to a local school, after-school program or homeless shelter.
3. Avoid overspending — and underspending
A study by payments technology company First Data found that 75% of consumers overspend the value of their gift card by an average of R450.00. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — a gift card can bring down the amount you spend on something you wanted but couldn’t afford otherwise.
Beware of “gift card creep,” which is when you spend excessively on something you didn’t really want, just because the card makes it relatively affordable. Plan ahead of time, and ask yourself whether you truly value the item.
Try new things
Gift cards can be a burden if you feel forced to spend money on things you won’t ever use. But they can also push you to try new things.
“You’re not giving a gift, you’re giving the gift of an experience,”
So go out on a limb — try that new local restaurant, take the cooking class or browse through that clothing store you’ve been meaning to check out. You might find that your gift card brings more value to you than it’s worth in Rands.
For queries or more information on the above, please contact us on +27 11 894 3914 or alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org