Reusable Gift Cards

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Reusable Gift Cards are credit card sized cards which may be purchased at a retailer. The advantages of the cards include ease of use and storage. Cards that are reloadable have multiple use opportunities, but not all cards are reloadable. Some retailers might give a special discount for using their location's gift card either in addition to or in lieu of other discounts; however, this is rare. The retailer usually charges tax at time of redemption, not at initial purchase of the card, so that the person that receives the "gift card" still has to pay tax at the time of check-out. Very few retailers waive the tax altogether.

How They Work

The card is purchased at the retailer. Gift cards issued by the actual store are usually free of any fees. This value is now stored in an account maintained by the retailer that can be accessed for purchases exclusively at that retailer.

There are also pre-paid debit cards that have a fee of around $4.95 that are issued by Visa, Mastercard, Discover, or American Express. These types of cards come in preset amounts such as $25, $50, or $100. These types of pre-paid debit cards can be used anywhere Visa, Mastercard, or American Express are accepted. They are good until their value runs out.

California law provides some protections for consumers (see [WWW]this FAQ); for example, service fees for non-use can only be charged in very special circumstances.

Advantages

Disadvantages

Local Retailers who use Gift Cards

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