Holding on Linens N’ Things gift card? Run! Don’t walk, to their nearest store to buy a towel, comforter or anything .
The home furnishing store filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in May, and while the Web site is still up and running there’s no telling what this could mean for store gift card holders if the doors are shuttered.
As many popular chain stores close the doors, finding value in store bought cards is hard to do. But, the rough patch at major stores shouldn’t put a hamper on giving and receiving gift cards.
While most consumers spend their gift cards, 10% never use the money given as a gift. And, most gift carders spend more than the value of giving cards boosting profits for the store. So before you’re left with a worthless trademarked card, cash it in at an online or neighborhood store.
And consider the more "money" way of doing things, and look into to purchasing a gift card from your local bank. While there are oft-times a fee attached, the gift card recipient is less limited on where to use a Visa (STOCK QUOTE: V) or MasterCard (STOCK QUOTE: MA) gift card.
Here’s a look of the upside and downside of bank gift cards:
A BB&T Visa Gift card (STOCK QUOTE: BBT)
Upside: Available anywhere your see the VISA logo.
Downside: After six months, consumers are billed a monthly fee of $2.50 for unused balances.
Chevy Chase American Express Gift Cards
Upside: Can be used anywhere American Express (STOCK QUOTE: AMX) is accepted.
Downside: There is a $5.95 replacement card fee for lost or stolen cards.
Well’s Fargo Visa Gift Card (STOCK QUOTE: WFC)
Upside: Accepted anywhere you see the VISA logo
Downside: There is a $7.50 replacement fee for lost or stolen cards.
HSBC MasterCard Debit Card (STOCK QUOTE: HBC)
Upside: Can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted.
Downside: For cards valued over $200, the issuance costs increases to $6.95. If the account balance is not used within 13 months, a $2.50 monthly charge is assessed.