5 On Your Side

Gift cards: Use them or risk losing them

Posted July 1, 2020 1:58 p.m. EDT
Updated July 1, 2020 5:28 p.m. EDT

— Got an unused gift card hanging around? Don't let it evaporate.

With so many businesses struggling financially, 5 On Your Side's Monica Laliberte says use them or possibly lose them.

According to BankRate.com, Americans are holding an estimated $20 billion in gift cards.

Gift cards

Half of all adults have at least one.

5 On Your Side always recommends spending gift cards right away.

That advice matters even more during a pandemic.

Businesses are hurting.

Many have filed for bankruptcy, like Pier 1, which already moved into its going-out-of-business sale.

Consumers have only until July 2 to use a Pier 1 gift card online.

Stores will accept them for just 30 days from when they re-opened after a COVID closure, so the deadline is fast approaching.

Other retailers, such as J.Crew and J.C. Penney, filed for bankruptcy protection and are working to reorganize. They are still accepting gift cards.

The National Retail Federation says gift cards have been the most requested gift in America for 12 years.

So consider the risk before buying one, and use any on hand, before they're worthless.

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