5 tips for buying gift cards

AUGUSTA, Ga.—If you are considering giving those finicky family members in your life a gift card this holiday season, Dr. Tony Robinson, marketing professor at Augusta University, offers tips to keep in mind when buying these plastic presents.

  • Know the source:Purchase your gift card from companies you know and trust. Beware of buying cards from online auction sites because they may be counterfeit or fraudulent.
  • Read the fine print:Before you buy the gift card, read the terms and conditions. See whether there are any fees associated with buying the card or if there are any shipping and handling fees if you buy the card online or by phone.
  • Watch out for inactivity fees:Before purchasing the gift card, check the expiration date and policy regarding inactivity fees. Under federal rules, gift cards cannot expire within five years of their activation date; inactivity fees may not be charged for a year, but they can be charged monthly after that.
  • Use it before you lose it:Gift cards frequently go unused because they are often misplaced or you forget you have them. Do not wait too long to use the card because inflation and changing prices can affect the card’s value.
  • Consider store bankruptcy:If you purchase a card from a company that files for bankruptcy or goes out of business, this will diminish the value of the card. However, call the company to find out if they will still honor the card or refer you to a competitor that will accept their company’s gift cards.

Robinson is a highly sought-after author and speaker currently serving in Augusta University’s James M. Hull College of Business as an assistant marketing professor. In addition to having a doctorate in strategic management from the University of Alabama, Robinson earned a Master of Science in organizational change from Georgia State University, a Master of Business Administration from Old Dominion University, and a Bachelor of Business Administration in finance from Augusta University.


Like Love Haha Wow Sad Angry
Written by
Danielle Harris

Danielle Harris is Senior Media Relations Coordinator at Augusta University. Contact her to schedule an interview on this topic or with one of our experts at 706-721-7511 or deharris1@augusta.edu.

View all articles
Written by Danielle Harris

Jagwire is your source for news and stories from Augusta University. Daily updates highlight the many ways students, faculty, staff, researchers and clinicians "bring their A games" in classrooms and clinics on four campuses in Augusta and locations across the state of Georgia.

graphic that says download jag mobile with icon buttons below that say download on app store and download on google play with a picture of a phone
Students smiling for a photo in front of the James Brown statue downtown.