Sunday, November 7, 2010, AM | 6 Comments
Many people receive gift cards from phone companies and other such entities. These are “general” gift cards that you can use in any establishment, may that be drug store, your local supermarket or a departmental store. There is no scam per say about these cards. But you have to use your smartness to fully and completely use the whole amount on the gift card.
Cell phone companies send out these cards because they are cheaper and safer than checks. Mostly, it is not some scam. It is true many people might not be able to use the whole amount on the card and that’s savings for the company. Chances are the money you were entitled to is already written off as an expense by the company who issued it.
Sometimes what happens is…
Let’s say you are at the supermarket. The card has $3 left on it. Your bill for the grocery is $20. You give the card to the person at the register. She says the card is not accepted. You pay the bill with other means. You leave the store thinking the phone company scammed you for $3.
Let’s say the phone company has a huge database of its customers and it had sent gift cards to a million folks. And if everyone of those gift-card receivers leave $3 on the table, so to speak, that’s $3 million in the company’s pocket.
There are ways to supersede that. A few of them are described below as options what you could do to deplete the card down to zero:
- You can use the full amount by paying your next phone bill with it. If your bill is more than the value of the gift card, you pay the difference.
- Ask the cashier how much money is left on the card before you use it. They authorize it for the $3, then you pay the remainder with another method.
- Exchange the gift card with your favorite store gift card that does not have the remainder problem. These are much easier to use, and the local store is happy for the ultimate business.
- You can go to your bank and have the $50 deposited into your bank account.
- You can use the gift cards for charitable donations.
In a Nutshell
To use the gift card completely and to deplete it to zero, use one of the options mentioned above.