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Month: August 2008

Bankruptcy & Gift Cards – State Attorney Generals can help

Today’s piece is a follow-up to this story I posted on June 18th about a local spa in Missouri – Spa 151 that went out of business, leaving gift card holders with worthless cards they could not redeem. Some gift card holders filed complaints with the Missouri attorney general’s office. The attorney general was able to settle the issue with the owners of the spa for $103,000.

So far, 660 people have filed claims with the attorney general’s office and anyone with a claim has been given until Sept. 4th to file, after which checks will be issued to those affected. If you are a Spa 151 customer currently holding their gift card and would like to file a claim, click here for details.

This is great news and it sets precedence for how consumers can rely on their state’s attorney general’s office to fight for them in these situation, especially with local businesses that suddenly close shop, leaving their customers with worthless gift cards.

Giftcardblogger featured on CofeBuz

Giftcardblogger.com and our sister website Giftcardrescue.com are both featured in this article by Cofebuz regarding Web 2.0 marketing. Cofebuz is a marketing and business blog.

The article, “Web 2.0: Marketing by Providing Value”, talks about Giftcardrescue.com as an example of a business that has successfully leveraged blogging (giftcardblogger.com) to intereact with potential customers and provide them with relevant information. For business owners or potential business owners, this is an article worth reading.

Free $25 Shell Gas Card with Shell Credit Card Application

Citi Cards is offering a free $25 Shell Gas Gift Card when you apply and are approved for a Shell Card and purchase 100 gallons of shell gasoline within the first 90 days of opening the account. Offer is good until 8/31/08. Click here for details.

Shell Gift Card not available to New Jersey residents. New Jersey residents will receive a $25 MasterCard Gift Card. Gift Card will be mailed separately after purchase requirement has been met.

For more free gift card deals, click here.

Free $75 Gas Card from Expedia with hotel stay

For a limited time, Expedia.com is offering a free $75 gas card (MasterCard) when you book and stay for 4 nights at participating hotels in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. You can also get a free $50 gas card for booking and staying for 3 nights or a free $25 gas card for booking and staying for 2 nights at participating hotels.

Reservations must be made by September 2 and travel must be completed by September 30th. Expedia.com will ship the gas card within 3-6 weeks after travel is complete. For more on this offer, click here.

Checkout more free gift card deals here.

Logan’s Roadhouse to accept Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale Gift Cards

More good news for holders of bankrupt Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale Gift Cards. According to this story, Logan’s Roadhouse will begin accepting unused gift cards from Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale restaurants. This follows a similar announcement by Texas Roadhouse.

As you are probably aware, Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this month. Both companies are still redeeming gift cards but as you can see, the competition is trying to take advantage of this situation and steal customers from Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale.

Logan’s Roadhouse restaurants will offer guests a free entree, with the purchase of another entree, up to a $15 value, when guests bring in a Bennigan’s or Steak & Ale gift card. This offer will run through Aug. 31. There is no limit to the number of gift cards guests can redeem. The offer is not valid in North Carolina, South Carolina and Augusta, Georgia locations.

Boscov's Department Store files for bankruptcy – Will still redeem gift cards

Boscov’s Department Store, America’s largest family-owned independent department store, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday, August 4th. According to this story from the Associated Press, the company blamed it’s current predicament on the current economic turmoil, with shoppers struggling with higher food and gas bills, tighter credit, a persistent housing slump and increasing layoffs. This has caused consumers to spend less on discretionary items. As a result, the company has been having difficulty paying suppliers. The company will close 10 stores while it reorganizes.

Boscov’s received approval from the bankruptcy court to continue the redemption of gift cards. If you have a Boscov’s gift card, NOW is the time to use it or lose it.

Texas Roadhouse to accept Bennigan's and Steak and Ale Gift Cards

Finally, a bit of good news for holders of bankrupt Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale Gift Cards. Texas Roadhouse has announced that holders of Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale Gift Cards gift cards can bring them to any Texas Roadhouse location and exchange them for free entree certificates.

Best of all, the free entree certificates have no menu item restrictions, which means they can be used to buy any item on the menu at Texas Roadhouse. All certificates expire on August 30th, so hurry and get rid of those Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale Gift Cards.

As always, i would appreciate your comments on this (whether you are able to exchange your Bennigan’s and Steak and Ale Gift Cards at Texas Roadhouse).


Mervyn's files for bankruptcy protection – Will honor existing gift cards

Mervyn’s department store has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Mervyn’s stores will remain open and business will continue as the company goes through the bankruptcy process. According to this story from MarketWatch.com, the company has received approval from the bankruptcy court to continue to honor outstanding gift cards and loyalty programs.

Mervyn’s now joins a growing list of retailers that have filed for bankruptcy this year, including well known companies like Steve & Barry’s, Linens ‘n Things and Sharper Image. If you currently have a Mervyn’s gift card, NOW is the time to use it or lose it.

I expect more retailers to file for bankruptcy in the coming months considering the worsening economic situation. If you have received a gift card you don’t want or can’t use, you can sell it for cash at our sister website GiftCardRescue.com or exchange it for another card of your choice. You can choose from a list of over 30 popular gift cards including merchants like Home Depot, Target, Abercrombie & Fitch, Macy’s, New York & Company and Best Buy.

Stay tuned for updates on Mervyn’s bankruptcy situation and any changes to their gift card redemption policy.

Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale file for Bankruptcy

Another one bites the dust. Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale, both owned by Texas-based Metromedia Restaurant Group file for chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. This will result in the closing of more than 300 corporate-owned locations. According to this story from the New York Times, The Ponderosa and Bonanza restaurants, which operate under another entity, Metromedia Steakhouses, were not covered in the bankruptcy.

So, what does this mean for gift card holders? I am not sure. The company is yet to address what will happen to gift cards. I will keep you posted as soon as I hear something. In the meantime, if you have a Bennigan’s or Steak & Ale gift card, try and see if you can still use it while the restaurants remain open.

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