My Love/Hate Relationship with Gift Cards

I love getting gift cards, because then I can buy myself anything I want. On the other hand, I hate gift cards because I tend to want to hold onto them until I really need something from that particular store. It’s also sometimes hard to find the time to go shopping there.

My mother in law gave me a gift card (over a year ago!) that someone had given her for Ross Dress for Less. The first time I used the card was to buy my Secret Santa gift for one of my coworkers. I bought her a pretty robe and some slippers. Then I found out she was really hankering for one of those Snuggie Original Fleece Blanket with Free Booklight, Blue two days before the exchange. I didn’t have time to go back to Ross right away and found that a sporting goods place had a version of the Snuggies at a local brick and mortar store.

A couple of weeks later I took the items back and got the money put back on my card.

Then one of my coworkers told me Ross had Nintendo Wii components marked down and I thought it would be fun to have the tennis racket, steering wheel, baseball bat and golf club to play Wii Sports. I spent around $40 on those and they have been a big dud.  It’s just easier to use the Wii-mote and Nunchuk than to use the components. That means I still have about $60 left on the card and who knows it might be losing money as I type.

My boss gave me a Walmart card this year and I am ashamed to say I have misplaced it already! It was worth $25! I think it might be at work somewhere on my desk, or maybe in my purse.

Finally, I have the Big Lots card that my Secret Santa gave to me this year. I had planned to go to Big Lots right after Christmas, but I haven’t found a chance to stop by one. Now I have to put that on my to-do list.  Spend $25 on Big Lots!

I guess I could just pass these gift cards on to someone else… but then it’s a little disappointing because it is kind of fun to get to pick out something basically for free.

But then I also want to get the best deal.  And I don’t want to just impulsively buy something I really won’t use. Back and forth, back and forth.

Too bad Big Lots doesn’t have an online store. Do they? Maybe that would help.

Did you get some gift cards for Christmas? Do you love them or hate gift cards?

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9 thoughts on “My Love/Hate Relationship with Gift Cards

  1. I wrote a post about this. I personally like gift cards, as long as they are from stores I shop at. When I do receive a gift card to a store I don’t frequently visit, I will sometimes sell them on eBay. I also found a site where you can trade or sell your unused or unwanted gift cards: http://www.giftcardrescue.com.

    Hope you find the Walmart gift card!

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Little House!! I found the gift card!! I had put in in with my Ross Dress for Less gift card! I had no memory at all of doing that. Thank you for the link to that site, I will check it out! Mrs. A

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  2. i love store gift cards (have to admit that if it is for Target or something like that, it usually goes toward something we need as a family, even if it was a giftcard for me – to anthropologie on the otherhand… that all goes for me!).

    however….

    i cannot stand credit card gift cards. there are just so many things wrong with them!!! don’t buy them for anybody.

    susan

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Susan, I love the name of your blog. I think that Walmart card of mine might be the same as your Target gift cards. For the family. Unless I make a point to spend it on myself. It’s just so weird, when I have a gift card to spend, then I can’t decide what I want! Thank you for visiting and commenting! Mrs. A

    [Reply]

  3. I love gift cards for stores that I like. I don’t feel obligated to use them right away so I keep them binderclipped together and it saves me from using real money when I do need to make some purchases.

    [Reply]

    Mrs. Accountability Reply:

    Hi Revanche, that sounds like a good plan to keep them together. Actually, that is what I did with the Walmart card! Put it in my purse along with the Ross card! Thanks for the suggestion! Mrs. A

    [Reply]

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