Senior Care in the Lehigh Valley- Holiday Gift Card Safety

Senior Care in the Lehigh Valley- Holiday Gift Card Safety
One of the most popular gifts to give and receive over the holiday season are gift cards, but there are some things to consider before giving (and after receiving) a gift card to consider.
Typically the best gift cards are the ones that can be used just about anywhere. These would be ones which bear the Visa®, American Express or MasterCard® logos and are sold at mall kiosks, banks, credit unions and other authorized sellers. However, each of these sellers has the option to impose their own fees and terms and conditions. These fees could be for the purchase of the card as either a flat fee or a fee totaling a percentage of the amount to be loaded on the card (this is in addition to the amount loaded on the card). Since these fees vary you should always first inquire about the fees and shop around to ensure you are getting the best deals.
Other fees are imposed once the card is issued, these could include: a monthly fee if the card isn’t used within a certain time period, fees to carry balances over a certain time period and fee to check the available balance. Can you imagine anything more embarrassing than the recipient going to use a gift card and the balance has been depleted through fees!
Store Branded Cards:
When deciding what card to give it is best to stick to large retail well know store brands for several reasons. First, in a tough economy many smaller businesses are being forced to close their doors and doing so leaves gift card holders with a card they can no longer use. Also, in some cases gift cards are not accepted by stores during going out of business sales.  
Most of the time people give gift cards because they are not sure what the other person would like. If this is a case you will want to stick with stores that offer many options rather than a specialty store. Nothing is worse than being the recipient of a gift card to a coffee shop when you don’t drink coffee.
If you are sending a gift card across the miles make sure there is a store within the local vicinity of the person you are sending it to. A gift card is a nice gift unless the closest store is an hour away or even further and then it never gets used. Also keep in mind that not everyone is comfortable with shopping online.
Avoiding Fraudulent Cards:
Only purchase cards for reputable retailers and keep the receipts until you have used the entire balance. There are many sites online, especially auction sites, which have “too good to be true” offers for gift cards and they are typically just that! A majority of gift card fraud comes from those purchases though online auction sites. 
When purchasing cards from a large rack selection in convenient type stores be sure to examine the packing to make sure the card has not been tampered with, and after the casher rings up the card have them re-swipe it to ensure the appropriate amount was loaded correctly onto the card.
Understanding the terms, conditions, fees and ensuring the card is valid will make for successful gift card giving. If you are unsure of any of these things you may just want to consider giving good old traditional cash, it’s still appreciated too! Interim HealthCare wants you to enjoy the holiday season and be a safe, smart and savvy shopper.

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