A Christmas gift card is a popular option to enable your loved ones to spend at their favourite stores, although there are hidden rip-offs you need to know. 

Given the way the high street is with so many firms going bust all the time, it is something you need to give careful consideration to.

EXPIRY DATES

Customers are being short-changed because some cards expire within just 6 months. Others carry hidden fees that quickly make them worthless. The Government is seeking a minimum 2 year expiry period and fairer terms and conditions, as cards often do not even carry use-by dates.

Gift cards are risky. If a firm goes bust, you lose your money and it can be incredibly difficult to find out when a gift card expires.

Shoppers can also be caught out by hidden fees, with a 90p charge applied each month after 18 months on ‘One 4 All’ cards, which can be used with more than 100 retailers including Debenhams, M & S, House of Fraser, Gap, H & M and Waterstones (no expiry date).

 

HOW LONG THEY LAST

1 YEAR

Cineworld, Costa Coffee, French Connection, Habitat, Jojo Maman Bebe, Pandora, Sweaty Betty, Ted Baker, Ticketmaster, White Stuff

2 YEARS

Body Shop, Fat Face, House of Fraser, Lakeland, M & S, Mothercare, Reiss, Superdrug

3 YEARS

Argos, Zara

NO EXPIRY

Ikea, iTunes, Selfridges, Starbucks

Whilst this isn’t a scam per-se, I have written about Amazon fraud, SIM phone card scams and other types of fraud. There is no way of knowing which firm will fold next, with some well-known high street firms folding virtually every month. With that in mind, I believe that buying a Christmas gift card is an increasingly risky option.

Have you been caught out by a Christmas gift card? If so, what’s your story?

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