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Category: Gift Card Questions & Answers (Page 1 of 4)

Gift Cards For Children

Sometimes purchasing gift cards for children can be a hard decision. We often find ourselves at a loss for what’s hip or cool. The generation gap can prove to be an obstacle for parents, family, and friends alike. Let’s be honest, no one wants to buy a gift for a child if they have no use for or aren’t going to enjoy spending it. Some gift cards though, are almost always going to hold value and will most likely appeal to children no matter their personality, hobbies, or interests. This list is broken up into categories by age and will specify boy or girl if it pertains, beginning with gift cards proper for all ages.

All Ages

Ben & Jerry’s

Even adults love ice cream but most children probably like it even more. The safe bet here is that if a kid doesn’t like ice cream or is lactose intolerant, you will most likely already be aware. Ben & Jerry’s, a popular ice cream shop with locations all across the country, offers individual pint coupons for only $4. These coupons can be redeemed at any retail store that sells B&J pints or at an official Ben & Jerry’s shop.

Target

Why Target and not Walmart? Well, Walmart gift cards are pretty universal too but Target carries more appeal for children. For starters, the cards themselves are more fun and personal. Their cards are much more engaging, like the light up Christmas line.

Target also has carries inventory, specifically clothes, geared more towards the appeal of children. Their clothing selection is extremely diverse and “cool” for lack of a better term.

Cinema/Movie gift card

Movies are getting a bit expensive these days. There is always something in theaters for kids of any age. Giving the gift of a cinema gift card is almost a sure bet for success. This gives children the option to use their card to do something with a friend or family member which is a bonus in itself.  For those older boys, it gives them a chance to take a special someone on a movie date, which is an inevitable adolescent experience we have all surely enjoyed. Regal Cinemas seems to be the most populated location and we would suggest using them.

Ages 6-9

Boys

Lego Store 

Lego Store gift cards are downright awesome. The cards themselves are extremely creative and the options for redemption are endless. Lego has done the job of appeal for you, with features like Spongebob, Harry Potter, Super Heroes, and even Architecture collections.

Gamestop

This is for the gamer. As technology continues to evolve, younger children become more prone to video game and computer exposure. Gamestop offers everything from video games to systems and accessories as well as movies. With a huge selection, a Gamestop gift card gives the recipient the chance to select from many options.

Girls

Build A Bear Workshop

Build-A-Bear workshop gift cards are more than just pick and buy. At Build-a-bear, kids are given the chance to engage in a fun activity where they actually complete the process of creating their very own stuffed animal. From choosing an animal adding the heart, these workshops offer an actual connection between the child and their product which can last for years to come. The experience is worth just as much as the stuffed animal they walk out of the store with.

Toys-R-Us

This one is actually a solid bet for boys and girls. Toy-R-Us is like a wonderland for any young child with isles full of toys, games, bikes, and more. You can be sure that any kid’s eyes will light up when they get their Toy-R-Us gift card and they realize that they will soon get to make the trip of every young child’s dream.

Ages 10-15

Best Buy

Consider Best Buy as the Toys-R-Us for tweens. With everything and anything electronic you could ask for, a Best Buy gift card basically can’t go wrong. This provides the chance to redeem the gift for new releases, new technology, and car audio. These cards are sure to put a smile on every kids face.

Visa Gift Card

Why not give them the gift of any choice. That is essentially how a Visa Gift Card functions, able to be redeemed anywhere Visa is accepted. Not to be confused with a Visa prepaid card, Visa gift cards do not carry all the fees and are flat rate. These are non-reloadable, like a Vanilla card.

Should You Receive A Gift Card That You Don’t Want

Don’t let it go to waste. Try using GiftCardRescue.com, where you can exchange gift card, or even sell gift card for money back on every dollar. With over 350 partnered merchants, GCR provides an easy, secure, and transaction guaranteed service tailored to those who find themselves with unwanted cards just like you. Visit their website or give them a call today and let their top notch customer service team help you out.

 

Whole Foods Gift Card Balance Check & Review

Built On Standards

Whole Foods is the world leader in natural and organic foods with over 310 stores in North America alone. A company based on strict standards, Whole Foods a model for grocery stores everywhere. Whole Foods attributes their success based on a mission to provide “food in its purest state — unadulterated by artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings and preservatives — is the best tasting and most nutritious food there is.” (Directly from their website).

Aside from their product standards, Whole Foods is polished all around. I came to this conclusion when I visited the gift card page on their website where I became thoroughly impressed with the layout, available options, and general ease of navigation.

Gift Card Review

Whole Foods offers an array of options when it comes to their gift certificates. The first option consumers have is between physical cards and a mobile/email card. Yes, I said mobile. WF gives you the opportunity to send a gift via SMS.

Physical:

  • Eight choices of gift card images for birthdays and celebrations
  • Amounts: $20-$500
  • Optional personalized message
  • Free ground shipping

Email/Mobile:

  • Recipient receives card instantly
  • Option to print OR display certificate on smartphone for use (WOW!)
  • Amounts: $20-$500
  • Optional personalized message

Whole Foods gift cards also have the ability to be reloaded. They offer a one time reload online where you can deposit funds directly from your bank account onto the card up to $500.  Also offered is a gift card account feature which provides customers the chance to manage the gift card. If you sign up for an account you can set up auto reloads based on a schedule or a minimum balance as well as view transaction history and gift card balance.

Check Your Balance

To no surprise, Whole Foods makes it very seamless and easy to check your cards balance. You can do any one of the following:

  • Call customer service at 866.833.5591
  • Register for a gift card account. (Suggested method)
  • Visit the website here. On the bottom right side of the page you will be asked for the gift card number. Plug it in and click “Check Balance”.

 

Whole Food Gift Card FAQ’S

Q. Is there an additional cost for gift cards bought online?

A. No. There is no additional cost for gift cards bought online. Also no activation, service or inactivity fees.

Q. Do you charge a service fee? Does my card expire?

A. No,  their cards never expire and we have never assessed a service fee to use our gift cards or for inactivity. Some of their older cards have some verbiage about a $2/fee, but this was never enacted, and will not be in the future.

Q. What happens if my gift card has been lost in the mail?

A. Please be sure that you allow enough time for the card to be processed and shipped. After that time, please call the helpline at (866)833-5591 or email wholefoods@vcdelivery.com so we can track your card.

Q. Can I resell my Whole Foods Market gift card?

A. Unfortunately you cannot sell gift card or exchange gift card. Whole Foods market only permits resale of gift cards through our non-profit fundraising program.

Q. If a gift card is lost or stolen, can it be replaced?

A. Gift cards cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. Gift cards should be treated like cash. For this reason, Whole Foods advises you to choose UPS for your shipping method as it is more secure. Under certain circumstances and if the card has not been redeemed, WF may be able to reissue a card if you have your gift card number and proof of purchase.

Kroger Gift Card Balance Check & Review

Kroger gift cards are great ways to give or receive. After all, everyone needs groceries. One of the awesome things about grocery gift cards is that they can almost always be redeemed with coupons or other store offers, which can maximize a shopper’s experience. Also, you can earn fuel discounts with the in store purchase of retail gift card.

Ways To Save At Kroger

 1.) Visit Kroger.com – Immediately when the page loads, a prompt appears asking for Zip code. This is so Kroger can direct any regional or local savings towards you, the consumer.

2.) Check local print such as a daily paper or mass distributed coupon books.

3.) Get the Kroger 1-2-3 Rewards Visa Card – Enables the customer to save an extra $.05 a gallon on gas and compiles reward points that can eventually add up to more savings.

How To Check Your Balance

1.) Locate The following on the back of your card

  • Gift Card #
  • Pin #

2.) Visit the designated balance check site here OR call customer service balance check hotline at 1-866-822-6252.

NOTE: If you are missing or do not know the PIN number, you must call the customer service number.

3.)Enter the information in the space provided on the website and proceed by clicking “check balance”.

4.) Your balance should load. If a problem occurs or you do not agree with the amount shown we suggest you call the  service hotline.

More About Kroger Gift Cards

1.) Available in amounts from $10-$250

2.) Reloadable at any in store cashier

3.) Kroger provides a wide range of card designs and themes for birthdays and holidays.

FAQS

What is a Kroger Family of Stores Gift Card?

The Kroger Family of Stores Gift Card is a pre-paid debit card similar to a gift certificate that can be used to buy merchandise or fuel at any Kroger family store.

Can anyone use my Gift Card?

Yes, treat the Card like cash. Your name does not appear on the Card. You may use it yourself or give it to anyone you choose.

How do I purchase a card denomination not listed on the order form?

Customize your Gift Card value by combining any number of Card denominations in your order.

What products can I purchase with my Gift Card?

Use your Gift Card to purchase any merchandise in-store, as allowed by law, with the exception of  Courtesy Desk Services. Services include money orders, lottery tickets, stamps, hunting/fishing licenses and Western Union.

Can Gift Cards be used for online purchases?

Sorry, not at this time.

Does the Kroger Family of Stores Gift Card ever expire?

No, so long as value remains on the Card; however, if a Card has a zero balance for longer than 90 days, the Card will become inactive and value can no longer be loaded onto the Card.

 

Can I Use Gift Cards For Credit Card Debt?

Most reports online claim that consumers are not able to potentially redeem gift cards for personal credit debt.  This claim however, proves to be false because there is in fact a way to cover a portion of debt with a gift card. There are a few requirements and at the end of the day, your’e financial institution needs to accept this form of transaction for it to work. This is how you can make it happen:

  1. Major Issuer-Gift Card must be issued by major banking authority like Visa, Mastercard, or American Express. This means the card will most likely bare the issuer emblem on the bottom right corner if it is eligible.
  2. Split-Tender Transaction– Ask your bank for a split-tender transaction. This means you will pay on the debt by means of gift card along with another payment. Make sure you have excess personal funds to distribute along with the funds from the card. Do not expect to attempt to pay the full amount of the bill with your gift card. This option is not available.

About Split Tender Transactions

Split tender transactions occur when two methods of payment are used. It is likely that this is most prevalent when consumers go to spend the last few dollars on their gift cards in retail outlets. Some smaller retailers do not allow these transactions simply because their point of sales (POS) machines are not made for it. The split tender transactions discussed in this post are strictly to be made over the phone with a dedicated financial representative.

Should your gift card not be honored for one of these split tenders, I suggest trying to sell gift cards with GiftCardRescue. GiftCardRescue.com offers a program where consumers can earn up to $.92 back on every dollar. This is a great way to get cash back with which you can then use to pay bills.

Tips For Holiday Gift Cards

It was estimated that each American would receive at least one gift card over the winter holiday season.  For many reasons though, millions of dollars each year go unspent on gift cards. Chances are, some received cards of no personal value and decided to stick them in a drawer somewhere. Others like me, may spend weeks debating on how to spend it and eventually forget about it. My advice, use your gift cards sooner rather than later unless they are for something like Starbucks where multiple gift card transactions are necessary to diminish the card’s balance. Here are some tips to help you with those gift card decisions:

1.) Remember Necessity Over Frivolous Spending = Win

For those of you with the $50 or $100 Walmart gift cards, this one is for you. Impulse might tell a lot of you to upgrade your life in the electronics department with every dollar you have. A good approach I try to take to this situation is the 80/20 rule. If you purchase necessities like toilet paper, soap, groceries, and other NEEDS. This will free up budget in the immediate future. With the other 20%, go ahead and treat yourself to a movie or something. It can be fun trying to meet that $20 cap at the end of shopping for something you WANT.

2.) Re-gifting Never Hurts

No I  don’t mean re-give the gift card. Have a loved one or friend with a birthday coming up? Instead of forcing a personal purchase, use the gift card to buy something for them instead. This saves you money you would have probably spent anyway.

3.) Trade OR Redeem For Cash

There are some great sites to exchange or sell gift cards like GiftCardRescue.com. Gift Card Rescue offers consumers the chance to swap gift cards and even to earn up to $.92 back on every dollar.  This route might take a little research and work but it is surely worth it once you reap the benefits of the savings they provide. GCR accepts cards from over 350 vendors and offers trades for credit with merchants such as Amazon.

4.) Donate To Charity And Feel Good

If you really don’t happen to need a gift card, or are feeling extra generous, there are some options available for you to donate to charities. That gift card might not mean much to you, but to someone else it could mean everything. Works Of Life is a non profit Christian organization that combines smaller donated gift cards into larger cards to help needy individuals and families. GiftCardGiver distributes donated cards to non profit organizations which in turn, use the funds to help the less fortunate. GiftCardGiver also offers the option to throw a house party, meaning that you invite your friends over and collect their unused gift cards to make one bulk donation.

 

 

Top 10 Ways To Get Gift Cards For Less

Gift Cards spending and popularity has noticeably continued to grow since 2005. TowerGroup, a leading financial research and advisory firm, projected that gift card sales will top $100 billion this holiday season and exceed $130 billion by 2014. They have also added that in addition to increased gift card purchasing, consumers are also more frequently spending the full value on the card. This shows that consumers trends are leaning both towards gift cards and value.

There are many ways to score gift cards for less around the holidays. Here are 10 awesome ways to score gift cards for less:

1. Gift-card Exchange Sites

For example, GiftCardRescue.com. Sites like this give consumers the chance to buy, sell, and exchange gift cards at discount prices. With GiftCardRescue, the value on the card is backed by a guarantee which should give shoppers a secure feeling. Average deals can range from 8%-25% savings. Daily deals can go even higher and are often announced through their facebook page. Check the site regularly and expect a spike in selection immediately following holidays.

2. Social Buying

This includes sites like LivingSocial and Groupon and typically includes savings anywhere from 10%-60% off. These sites both have smarthphone apps as well as e-mail options which are region specific and will notify you when new deals are posted. Be sure to check out Groupon’s GrouponNow App which will target your location and provide nearby deals.

3. Coinstar Savings

Got change? It’s likely we’ve all seen or used a Coinstar machine at our local grocery store. These machines usually tend to charge 9.8 cents to every dollar counted but will offer free of charge counting in exchange for gift cards to places such as iTunes, CVS, and Amazon among over 25 other merchant partners.

4.  Foursquare 

It’s all fun and games until someone gets a free gift card dropped on them. Seriously, aside from earning badges and becoming mayor, Foursquare has proved to be a useful marketing tool for companies. Starbucks recently awarded 500 $40 gift cards to customers who checked in on their 40th anniversary. Other merchants enter those who check in into store gift card drawings, another tempting customer incentive.

5. Frequent Flier Miles/ Points

Got a bevy of frequent flier points that you haven’t used in ages? Well, not only can these be redeemed for flights but also gift cards to retail outlets and movie theaters. Make sure to check your options through your personal account.

6. Bulk Grocery Clubs

If you pay for a membership to a wholesale warehouse like  Costco, Sam’s Club, or Bj’s you might have the chance to save with direct purchase. These merchants often offer gift cards below retail price. For example, at Bj’s you can buy $100 iTunes for 5% off and $100 Uno Chicago Grill for 20% off. Even Walmart is offering $50 iTunes cards for $40 while supplies last. Don’t miss out on these killer members only steals!

7. Local Media 

Especially around the holidays, local news and media outlets will partner with merchants for promotional discounts.  If you don’t catch any announcements during your viewing, visit the website and search for holiday deals or discount gift cards.

8. Retail Loyalty Programs

Retail stores are all about return customers, which makes up for a large portion of revenue. Many have marketing strategies that include customer loyalty programs which differ based on merchant. Usually, they offer a certain amount off relative to how much you spend. e.g $5 off every $100 spent. This can be a great way to save at your favorite spots.

9. Targeted Smartphone Apps

Savings can be just an Application download away. Social apps like Shopkick and Loopt offer repeat users chances to earn gift cards to local restaurants and retail stores like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, and Crate & Barrel, Rack your “kickbucks”  up this holiday season.

10. Crowd-sourced Deal Sites

This includes sites like slickdeals.com and FatWallet.com. These sites use social networking to find the best bargains around. A search of “gift card” will provide users with any deals available as well as tips for redemption and use.

Choices to Make When Buying Gift Cards

The National Retail Federation pointed out that 80% of all consumers will buy a gift card this holiday season. It’s important that when buying a gift card for someone that you know more about the card, terms and conditions and what merchants are the most popular. You want to make sure that the gift card that you buy ends up being used and does not end up on a gift card exchange website.

Open Loop vs Closed Loop

An open loop gift card comes with very few restrictions and can be used universally at almost any merchant. Common open-loop gift cards include; Visa Gift Cards, AMEX Gift Cards, and Prepaid Debit Cards. It is important to note that open loop gift cards will often come with fees and charges that are not found with closed loop gift cards. The most popular option for open loop gift cards is probably the Vanilla Visa gift card.

Prepaid Visa Cards Are the #1 Open Loop Cards

Closed loop gift cards are restricted for use at the merchant that they were purchased for. For example a McDonald’s gift card can only be used at McDonald’s locations and nowhere else. Some closed loop gift cards have multiple uses and can be used at all of a corporations different brands. The Gap Gift Card can be used at Old Navy, Banana Republic and Piperlime. While the Olive Garden gift card can also be used at Red Lobster, Bahama Breeze, LongHorn Steakhouse and the Capital Grille.

Top Rated Gift Cards

It’s important when buying a gift card that you choose one that is easy to be redeemed, comes with a variety of options and does not expire. The most popular gift cards for 2011 were Walmart, Amazon.com and Target. Picking any of these gift cards will definitely leave the recipient happy because they can spend the balance on almost anything.

If you choose a gift card on this list, then you are almost guaranteed to make that persons day. We also like to recommend gift cards like Starbucks, McDonald’s and the Apple Store.

 

NRF Survey: Gift Cards are the Most Wanted Holiday Gift

The National Retail Federation just released their 2011 Holiday Survey and once again gift cards have beat out all other options to remain the most wanted holiday gift. According to the survey, 80.2% of all holiday shoppers will purchase a gift card, up over 3% from 2010. It is estimated that consumers will spend on average $155.43 in gift cards with total spending reaching around $27.8 billion.

Consumers look to purchase gift cards not because of the convenience, but they like to allow the recipient to choose their own gift. It’s easier to allow someone to purchase something on their own, rather than picking something out that might not be desired.

Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO said,

With discretionary gifts expected to be popular, many consumers will view gift cards as an ‘everyday value item,’ affording their loved ones the option of buying something they really want or need.

We recommend that consumers follow the Top 20 Most Popular Gift Cards list that we released when choosing what gift card to buy this holiday season. These types of gift cards were determined to be the most popular by the NRF survey.

Most Popular Gift Cards

Data collected from 2011 NRF Survey.

The trends found in this survey actually match the same data that was released by GiftCardRescue.com in the top 20 most popular gift cards list. In the top 20 list, Walmart, Amazon.com and Target were the most desired gift cards and these merchants are each considered department stores. The only variation found between the two surveys were the popularity of restaurant gift cards in the NRF survey, where as in the GCR survey only two restaurant gift cards made it into the top 20.

As a gift card exchange retailer, we see a massive spike in restaurant gift cards that are sold for cash or Amazon.com credit immediately after Christmas. It appears that while consumers have the mindset that restaurant gift cards are desired, in actuality people prefer the department store and specialty merchants more.

Redeem Your Gift Cards Sooner, Not Later

Gift card popularity continued growing in the United States in 2011. As the holidays approach, we all consider gift cards as a means of festive exchange. There are however, concerns with gift card giving. The government says 95 percent of Americans either purchase or receive them.

Consumers have many questions regarding the fine print of these cards. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 guarantees:

Expiration: Gift cards are not able to expire within 5 years of issue. Still about $5 billion a year goes unused on gift cards. Beginning in January of this past year, the expiration date and any included fees are required to be printed on the back of each card. When your card expires

Dormancy Fees: Beware. If you fail to use your gift card for an entire year, you may be penalized with dormancy fees. These fees usually range from $2-2.50 a month following the inactive period.

Exceptions to this Act:

  • Prepaid Cards – long distance, wireless telephone, internet access
  • Reloadable Cards – not marketed or labeled as gift cards
  • Loyalty, Reward, Promotional Cards

Don’t have any use for a gift card?

No need to fret. Use GiftCardRescue.com. Here you redeem gift cards for instant cash and also purchase discounted gift cards. GiftCardRescue provides excellent customer service, bulk sales, hot deals, and a purchase guarantee.

Bulk Suppliers Deserve a Dedicated Rep, Not a Call Center in India

At GiftCardRescue, we believe in a high level of customer service. That’s why we answer our phone, respond to emails, and provide a dedicated sales rep to all of our bulk suppliers.  You might think these things are typical standard practices but with some companies it’s not. We take pride in providing a valuable experience to everyone who works with us, whether you’re buying a gift card, or selling in bulk, it’s important to us that you have a good experience.

What do you look for when choosing a company to sell gift cards in bulk to?

There are several factors that we think are important, and determined how we structured our system.

  1. Communication- When dealing with large amounts of gift cards (ie. Money) the most important thing is to have constant communication between you and your purchaser.  After all, who wants to put 50k worth of gift cards in the mail, and not be able to hear from a human being if they have arrived? Or be able to check in with a rep to see what part of the process your cards are in?
  2. Or if there were any problems? At GiftCardRescue, you will always have a person to call that works directly in the processing center you send your cards to.
  3. Competitive Pricing- We know what our competitors pay, and we know we beat them in many, many cases. We also are willing to work with our suppliers who are consistently sending in cards, and have low fraud occurrences to give them a couple extra points here and there.
  4. Fast payments- At GiftCardRescue, we have the fastest payments in the industry for our bulk suppliers.  For example, if your cards arrive on a Monday, your money will hit your account on Thursday via ACH.
  5. Dedicated Sales Reps- Every bulk supplier at GiftCardRescue has a dedicated account representative to answer any questions or concerns you may have at any point throughout the process.

If you would like more information about selling gift cards in bulk, liquidating gift cards from a corporate purchase, or to receive more information about our program, visit GiftCardRescue.com or call 1-877-800-4413 and ask for the bulk sales department. 

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