CHRISTMAS GIFT CARD RIP-OFF – 13/12/2016

You may be thinking of buying a gift card for your loved ones to spend at their favourite stores this Christmas, but my advice would be to be very careful here.

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

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