Consumer Alert

Are Gift Cards A Good Idea This Holiday Season?

Gift cards have become a popular present to give during the holidays but are they always a good idea? Poor economic conditions have resulted in a growing list of store closures, with more stores likely to close after the holidays. A gift card to a store that closes can become worthless or difficult to use. And, keep in mind some gift cards may have expiration dates, dormancy fees and other restrictions that limit their use.

The Consumer Protection Unit urges consumers to carefully consider giving gift cards this holiday season and to use care when purchasing them. You can find more information by visiting the following websites:

In addition to problems with gift cards, business closures may result in problems with mail and internet orders. Visit the Federal Trade Commission website for tips on shopping by phone or mail.

Consumer Protection Unit
December 2008