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Month: January 2009

Free gift cards worth up to $225 from Citibank

Citibank is offering a free gift card of up to $225 when you sign up for qualifying accounts. When you open a qualifying checking account, you get 10,000 Thank You Points that can be redeemed for a $100 gift card.

In addition, when you open a qualifying money market account, you get another 3,500 Thank You points that can be redeemed for a $25 gift card. You get another 10,000 Thank You points when you sign up for a qualifying credit card. All three transactions will give you gift cards worth $225.

 

 

 

 
Click here for more details.

 

Walmart Gift Card Scam

A former Wal-Mart employee was charged yesterday for stealing gift cards. The employee, who worked at a Manheim Township, PA Wal-Mart is accused of stealing 12 gift cards from customers. Here is how the scheme worked: When a customer buys a gift card, the employee will give them a gift card with no value on it. Once the customer leaves, the employee will then put the amount the customer paid on another gift card and use it to shop at the store.

This trend of cashiers stealing gift cards from customers is gaining ground and I covered it under the Gift Card Scam Series back in July 2008. So, how do you avoid becoming a victim of this scam? First, you need to pay attention to what the cashier is doing when you hand them the gift card. They will usually scan, swipe, or manually enter the card information into the system, then add the value you requested. The amount of gift card you are buying should appear on the screen. Once you pay for the gift card, check the back of the gift card and compare the serial number or card number with the number shown on the receipt. If you are unable to, ask the cashier to help you locate the gift card information on the receipt.

If you are not satisfied with the match, politely ask the cashier to check the balance on the card and print you a receipt for the balance. It may come across a bit odd or a little over the top but a cashier with nothing to hide should gladly help you make sense of your purchase.

Gift Card Holders – A reason to be creative

Whether for a wedding, Christmas or birthday, gift card holders and packaging should be part of your presentation for two reasons. First, they make your gift card look personal. It shows the giver that some thought was put into the gift. Even though gift cards have gained in popularity over the last few years, there are some people who still find them impersonal. Part of the reason for this has to do with packaging. Although the cards come with holders, they are usually not impressive. If you really want to make an impression with the gift, why cut corners with the packaging?

The other reason for using gift card holders and packaging is to maintain the element of surprise. People like to be surprised, including adults. So, when you use the packaging that comes with the gift card, it is easy for the person to tell they are getting a gift card, which takes the fun out of receiving the gift. Let’s say you buy someone a new portable DVD player for Christmas or a birthday. Even though the DVD player comes in a box, you still take the time to wrap the box to maintain the element of surprise. Same thing with gift card giving. Even though the gift card comes with its own packaging, surprise the receiver by getting creative with the packaging.

When selecting a gift card holder or packaging, make sure you pick something that is appropriate for the occasion. Gift card holders have come a long way and you can now find occasion-specific packaging to go with your gift card. Another possibility is to create your own packaging. Since the overall goal is to maintain the element of surprise, you can take a chance and make something unique to package your gift card. If you are not that creative, possible gift card holders you can buy include a tin box, cardboard box, paper pouches, greeting cards and stuffed animals.

Gift card holder image from Seastone.com

Using Visa or American Express Gift Cards on Paypal

This post explains how to use Visa or Amex gift cards on paypal and the challenges that come with that. Also check below for our most popular Visa Prepaid Gift Cards that allow you to shop online, pay bills, and get money at ATMs.

One of the most popular gift card questions online is whether one can link prepaid gift cards like the Visa gift card to a PayPal account. The short answer is Yes and No.

Now, the long answer: Yes, it is possible to link a prepaid gift card like the Visa or American Express gift card to a PayPal account but for this to happen, you need to pray and hope that PayPal does not require you to go through their Expanded Use verification process. To better understand why, you first need to be familiar with the process for linking a credit card to a PayPal account. When you link your credit card to a PayPal account, PayPal will attempt to confirm your address with your credit card company. If the credit card company is not able to confirm your address, then you may be asked by PayPal to complete their Expanded Use enrollment process in order to activate your credit card.

Expanded Use verification means PayPal will charge your credit card a small about. Next to the charge will be a unique, randomly generated 4-digit Expanded Use code. If you have online access to your credit card activity, the charge and code will appear on your card activity in approximately 2-4 business days. If you do not have online access, you must wait until you receive your statement in the mail to get the 4-digit code. If you are adding a debit card to your PayPal account, your 4-digit Expanded Use code will be printed on your bank statement next to the charge.

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Can you buy games with an iTunes gift card?

There have been a lot of questions online, especially on Yahoo Answers about whether you can buy iPod games with an iTunes gift card. Before I answer the question, I want to make a distinction between the iTunes gift card and the Apple Store gift card. The iTunes gift card can be used to purchase stuff you can play or use on your iPod-like devices (iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPhone). The Apple Store gift card can be used to purchase hardware and software at the Apple Store (like the iMac, MacBook etc). They are not interchangeable. For example, you cannot use the iTunes gift card to purchase an iMac, neither can you use the Apple Store gift card to purchase music at the iTunes Store.

So, back to the question of whether you can use the iTunes gift card to purchase games. The answer is a qualified yes. You can use the iTunes gift card to purchase games that are compatible with iPod-like devices (iPod Classic, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, and iPhone). Some of these games are built exclusively for specific devices. For example, there are games designed for the iPod Nano that cannot be played on the iPhone. In addition, these games cannot be played on your computer.

To buy iPod games, simply log-on to your iTunes, go to the iTunes Store and click on iPod games.

Apart from iPod games and music, you can also use the iTunes gift card to buy Podcasts, TV Shows, Music Videos, Movies, Audiobooks, and applications designed for iPod like devices.

Update (10/27/2011)

In response to some of the comments below, I called iTunes support today asking them to walk me through the steps of buying an iPod game with an iTunes gift card. Below is what they told me.

1. First, you need to have already redeemed your iTunes gift card. Meaning that your iTunes account should show your iTunes gift card balance. For steps on how to redeem your iTunes gift card, click here.

2. Once your account is showing the gift card balance, click on “Ipod Games” under “iTunes STORE”. Select the game you want, and click on “Buy Game”. The price of the game will then be deducted from your gift card balance.

As long as there is a balance on the gift card, I am told that it will be the default payment method, until the balance runs out, at which point it will go to the credit card or ask for a credit card. If you have not yet redeemed your gift card, the system will NOT prompt you for a gift card (it will default to a credit card in absense of a gift card balance).

3. Once you purchase the game, you now need to sync the game to your iPod. For instructions on how to do that, click here.

Hope this helps.

iTunes gift card code or pin does not work?


To redeem your iTunes gift card, you have to scratch off the silver strip covering the code and enter the code/pin number online via your iTunes account. However, this is not always that simple. For reasons that are not obvious, iTunes gift card codes are very difficult to read. Sometimes, you are not sure whether a character is the letter “o” or the number “0”. Other characters that are confusing include:

• The letter A and the letter H
• The letter B and the number 8
• The letter D and the number 0
• The letter E and the number 3
• The letter G and the number 6
• The letter H and the letter W
• The letter J and the number 1
• The letter M and the letter N
• The letter O and the number 0
• The letter P and the letter F
• The letter Q and the letter O
• The letter Q and the number 0
• The letter S and the number 5
• The letter S and the number 8
• The letter V and the letter U
• The letter Z and the number 2
As a result, some users have had to spend a lot of time trying different combination of characters to arrive at the correct pin.

If you are experiencing this issue, the best solution is to contact iTunes support and provide them with your gift card serial number (not pin number or code) and they will look up what characters you are typing incorrectly. Listed below are instructions on how to contact them:

1. Visit http://www.apple.com/support/itunes/store/browser/
2. Complete the form with your account information.
3. Under “Choose a Category”, select “iTunes cards and codes” and under “Sub Category”, select “My code is inactive or invalid”
4. Complete the rest of the form under “Ask Your Question Here”, entering as much details as possible and hit “send”.

You should get a response back with information about what you may be doing wrong. If this does not work, then your gift card may not have been activated when you purchased it or you may have a problem that has nothing to do with the code.

Gift Card Exchange website has new look

GiftCardRescue.com, the gift card exchange website now has a new look. To see the re-designed site, go to http://www.giftcardrescue.com/. So what is new? We have simplified the transaction process. You can now see how much Giftcardrescue.com will pay for your gift card before you sell or exchange it. You can also browse the inventory list for discounted gift cards without the need to register. There is also a blog feed from GiftCardBlogger. Finally,  the price list has been streamlined for easy read and a media coverage page has been added, which shows stories about GiftCardRescue.com that have appeared in major print, TV, and online media outlets. Check it out.

Disclaimer: GiftCardRescue.com is the sponsor of this blog.

Gift Card Swap – Trade KB Toys gift cards for Toys "R" Us Coupon

Are you stuck with worthless KB Toys gift cards? Here is some good news. Toys “R” Us is offering KB Toys gift card holders the opportunity to trade in their gift cards for a 15% Toys “R” Us discount coupon. According to this story, the program is valid through January 31st.

As you may be aware, KB Toys filed for bankruptcy last month and is closing all remaining stores. The company had been redeeming gift cards during the liquidation sale but that ended on January 12. If you currently hold a KB Toys gift card, your only chance of getting some of your money back may be through the exchange program with Toy “R” Us or similar programs that may be rolled out by KB Toys’ competitors.

Circuit City may go out of business by 1/16/09

Circuit City, the electronics retailer may go out of business if a buyer is not found by January 16, 2009. The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in November 2008, had planned to reorganize and stay in business.

What was unusual was that Circuit City was still issuing new gift cards after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, further worsening its debt obligation. If the company goes out of business, it will definitely have to continue the redemption of gift cards during any liquidation sale to allow gift card holders to redeem their cards. This is because the company made a conscious decision to sell gift cards during the holiday season despite their shaky financial position.

If you have a Circuit City gift card, use it NOW or risk losing it.

 

Gift Cards lost in the mail due to poor packaging

During the holiday season, there is a surge in people mailing gift cards. Unfortunately, some of these cards don’t make it to their destination. This is due in part to cards falling out of envelopes as a result of poor packaging or theft at the post office.

Here is a clip from WAVE 3 TV, an NBC affiliate in Louisville, KY talking about how loose packaging caused some gift cards to not reach their destination (the link to the clip is at the top right side of the article). The USPS also gives a few tips about gift card packaging. Worth the watch. 

To learn more about what happens to gift cards that fall out of envelopes at the post office, click here

For more on gift card theft at the post office, click here

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