Entries in Gift Cards (6)


Starbuck Gift Cards Valuing $450 Sell Out Online

Starbucks(NEW YORK) -- Starbucks made 5,000 special edition etched steel $450 gift cards to be sold only on the luxury website, according to USA Today. The cards went on sale on Friday and sold out instantly.

Potential customers were outraged and complained on Twitter.

Starbucks members got first crack at the cards on Thursday before they opened up to the public on Friday.

There is speculation on Gilt's Facebook page that the cards sold out Thursday and were never really available at all the next day.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Store-Branded Gift Cards Have Lowest Fees, Survey Finds

BananaStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- What’s better: A store-branded gift card, or an all-purpose one you can use anywhere?

According to’s annual Gift Card Survey released on Monday, store-branded gift cards have fewer purchase fees than those issued by banks and credit card companies.

Of the 55 store-branded gift cards surveyed -- including Bloomingdale’s, Whole Foods, Target and Rite Aid -- only 9 percent charged a purchase fee, and only 2 percent charge a maintenance fee.  Conversely, all of the eight gift cards offered by banks and credit card companies (Discover, American Express, MasterCard and Visa through various banks), charged a fee ranging anywhere from $2.95 to $6.95.

Federal law requires that gift cards stay good for at least five years, and 95 percent of the cards surveyed by Bankrate do not have an expiration date.  

Additionally, the survey found that two-thirds of gift card issuers will replace the card and/or money if it is lost or stolen.  Seventy-five percent of the all-purpose credit cards charged a dormancy or maintenance fee (up to $3 per month) if the card is not used for a year or more, whereas only 2 percent of the store-branded ones did.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


American Express Pulls Gift Cards from NJ over Expiration Law

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- American Express is no longer selling gift cards in New Jersey because a unique law allows the state to claim the money from unspent gift cards after two years. 

There are similar laws elsewhere, but only New Jersey wants merchants to collect zip codes at the point of sale, and American Express says it is “not able to ensure compliance with that part of the law.”  The measure would classify gift cards unused after two years as “abandoned.”

When it first proposed the law a couple years ago, the Christie administration said there may be $79 million worth of unused gift cards, money orders and travelers checks languishing in drawers and wallets.

The law is currently the subject of litigation so it hasn’t been enacted. And retailers have been fighting it.  

John Holub at the N.J. Retail Merchant Association says gift cards never expire: “They’re as good as cash and they’re good forever.” 

If a customer comes into a store with a gift card after two years, he explains, the merchant would honor it and then apply to the state to get the money -- an administrative hassle.

Once the zip code portion of the law is set, Holub expects many retailers to follow in American Express' footsteps.

“You’re going to see a lot of other major retail brands pull their gift cards from New Jersey,” he said.

The law applies to retailers that sell more than $250,000 worth of gifts cards a year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Christmas Shopping Strong in Final Week: Report

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- More holiday shoppers procrastinated until the last week of the shopping season, but a mall trade group survey suggests they made up for it.

The International Council of Shopping Centers says revenues rose .9 percent for the final week compared to the week before, and were up 4.5 percent from the same week last year.

Gift card sales, they say, accounted for 17.9 percent of all sales during the week.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


6 Tips for Holiday Gift Card Giving

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Americans are expected to spend $27.8 billion on gift cards this holiday season. And whether you give or receive them, there are things you should know to get the most out of your gift card.

Gerri Willis from Fox Business Network appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America to answer questions and share tips about gift cards.

  • Watch out for fees. There are two types of gift card fees: shipping charges and service charges. Thirty percent of retailer gift cards can charge for shipping, so before you order a gift card, check to see if you’ll be charged for that. Service charges can include inactivity fees, purchase fees or monthly fees. Check on the gift card’s packaging or the company’s website for the fine print about fees. Starting in January, fees must be clearly disclosed on the card or its packaging.
  • Trade in cards you aren’t using for ones you will. Twenty-five percent of consumers have cards left over from last year’s holiday season. To unlock their value, trade in an old card at or or You can buy, sell or trade cards there, though you may not get the full value.
  • Get the rewards. Some vendors will give you more points for buying gift cards than redeeming points for cash. For example, Citibank's rewards program required 8,000 thank you points to get $50 cash back, but you only need 5,000 thank you points for a $50 gift card.
  • Go e-card. If what you really want is ease of purchase, think about buying your card online. Fifty-one percent of gift cards can be bought electronically. Plus, if you leave the card at home, you can still access the benefits through email.
  • Get the right card to the right person. If your family members purchase many gift cards, you might think about coming up with a gift card wish list. That way, you won’t be sighing over the Talbot’s card in your wallet and wishing it was from Anthropologie.
  • Be frugal. A Consumer Reports study shows that two-thirds of people using a gift card end up spending more than the face value of the card. Who doesn’t, right?  But in a recession or economic pullback, it makes sense to hold the line. It’s a gift after all, not an excuse for binging.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Get Cash, Gift Cards by Trading in Your Old Gadgets

Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Many consumers who have old cell phones, e-readers, laptops and video games lying around could be banking on them if they turned them in.

Several websites, like, pay consumers in cash or gift cards for trading in their old gadgets.  You simply need to answer a few questions on the site and then "they will literally send you a box, they'll send you a prepaid shipping label and they'll just take your item back," says ABC News' Technology Contributor Andrea Smith. is another such site, which has a partnership with retail giant Target.  Consumers looking to turn in their old devices with Nextworth can go to a Target store and "they will right there on the spot give you a Target gift card," says Smith. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio