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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | People Search | Personals | Travel | Yellow Pages  January 7, 2005
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Gift Cards=Disappearing Money!
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 You spend $50 on a gift card, but in some cases you don't actually get what you pay for. It's a little known secret that the stores won't tell you...but Call For Action will.

 So you're competing with Santa for best gift giving? Sweater? Too typical. Umbrella? Too odd. PDA? Too pricey. How about gift cards? The gift that lets the giver give the gift of self-giving!  It takes the burden off you.

Call For Action warns, some cards come with terms that could eat away at your generosity. So make sure you know where you can use it. Some are versatile, like the Sam's Club card that's also good at Wal-Mart, or the Target Card that also works at Eddie Bauer, and Marshall Fields... But you should check a card's fees and time limits..some of them are tricky and charge fees for checking your balance or monthly fees for failing to use the card by a certain deadline. You have a lifetime to spend that Target Card because it has no hidden fees, but the American Express and Wal-Mart cards deduct fees each month after two years of non-use. After one year of non-use, Starbucks will take $2 a month out of your gift card. Read all the find print, large, small, italics, both on the card and on any type of promotional material.

Other problems, lose a gift card and your only hope for getting it replaced is having the receipt. If you buy a gift card from a store that goes out of business, you will not get your money back.

 If you have a problem you need help solving, contact our Call for Action hotline Monday thru Thursday from 11:00am until 1:00pm,  228-1850.

 This week, our "cash back" to consumers who Called for Action, $3,650 dollars, bringing our grand total of money returned to $306,939.

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