Updated: Dec 11, 2019
As the holidays get closer and the pressure builds to find the right gifts for everyone, gift cards are a convenient way to ensure that a tough-to-buy-for person gets exactly what they want.
Whether purchasing online or in store, there are steps you can take to protect your investment.
Only purchase from reputable sellers. It’s always best to purchase directly from the source. Big brands like Apple and Amazon have a vested interest in making sure their cards are valid and easily redeemable, so they offer recourse if you lose your card or misplace the claim code. Both Apple and Amazon provide detailed information about how to protect yourself from common scams.
Be wary of Gift Card Exchanges. Gift card exchanges are online markets where anyone can sell unwanted gift cards and/or purchase pre-owned cards at discounted prices. Some transaction-based sites set up transactions between sellers and buyers and take no responsibility for fraudulent cards. Other sites such as Cardpool offer purchase guarantees.
As always, if in doubt of the validity of an online gift card, don’t click! It’s always a good idea to check directly with the company.