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5 Gift Cards To Avoid For Holiday Shopping

Rite Aid (RAD)

Rite Aid is still the forgotten stepchild in the health and beauty market, and its battles with CVS (CVS) and Walgreen (WAG) haven't been good for its health.

It's looking slightly better since its share price jumped from $1.50 to more than $5 over the past year. But its debt stands at more than $6 billion, not counting more than $5 billion in off-sheet debt from property leases. Its debt on the books is already more than 130% of the company's total value, so future spending looks downright bleak.

Its plan to remodel 500 existing shops into "wellness" stores is so cash-strapped that it wouldn't be completed until 2020 at the earliest. That leaves Rite Aid struggling to survive in rapidly aging stores. Buying someone a "gift" card to a Rite Aid is basically like buying them a trip back in time to dimly lit, metal shelved relics of the Reagan era.

Rite Aid's gift card is just as depressing. You can't buy it online, you can't use it online, the expiration date is a mystery, it can't be consolidated with another gift card when the balance gets low and it can't be redeemed for cash unless state law requires it.

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