3 Best And Worst Gift Cards For 2012

By Amanda C. Haury | November 22, 2012 AAA

A growing trend during the holiday season is to give out gift cards as holiday gifts instead of purchasing a gift that the recipient may not like. Gift cards are a highly convenient gift to give. Not only are you saving yourself time and stress, but they can also become meaningful Christmas gift ideas because you can give your gift recipient the choice of selecting exactly what they would like or need from one of their favorite stores. There are some draw backs to giving gift cards as holiday gifts, and not all gift cards are created equal. Here is a look at three of the best gift cards to give, along with three of the absolute worst gift cards to give as holiday gifts.

The Best Gift Cards to Give
Disney
An excellent gift card to give this holiday season is a Disney gift card. These gift cards can be used at a number of different locations including Disney Stores, Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland Resort and a variety of other places as well. Disney gift cards can be purchased in amounts between $5-$1,000 and can be reloaded at any time. Disney gift cards do not expire and can be transferred between different people. The Disney gift card is by far one of the best gift cards you can give because of its flexibility and versatility.

Target
Another excellent gift card that plenty of friends and family would enjoy receiving is a Target gift card. This gift card does not expire, and if your gift card should be lost or stolen, Target will replace the funds as long as you can provide an original receipt. Target gift cards can be used at any Target store or online at Target.com. Additionally, its gift cards come in a variety of designs, they have no fees and they can be purchased in store or online in varying increments from $5-$1,000.

Apple
Apple gift cards are definitely a gift that not many people would turn their nose up at. Apple gift cards do not expire, are available in increments from $25-$2,000, and can be used on Apple merchandise in the Apple retail store or the Apple online store at Apple.com. With so many options for where the funds can be spent, getting the most out of gift cards is easy for any Apple fan on your list.

The Worst Gift Cards to Give
Rite Aid
There are plenty of gift cards that you may want to avoid this holiday season, and a Rite Aid gift card is definitely one of them. Rite Aid cards are a single load card and cannot be reloaded. Also, if the recipient does not use the gift card you got him or her after two years the card will be deactivated. Additionally, if your gift card is lost or stolen it will not be replaced.

Gamestop
Another retail gift card you may want to avoid is Gamestop. Gamestop's gift card may take up to two weeks to be delivered, which may be a drawback for many consumers. Additionally, the maximum amount allowed on a Gamestop gift card is low in comparison to many other retailers. The most you can put on a card is $500.

Ikea
Ikea's gift card has drawbacks as well. The Swedish furniture store offers a gift card that cannot be purchased online. If you want the gift card shipped to you, you can expect an $11 shipping fee.

The Bottom Line
While many gift cards make a great holiday treat for the recipients on your shopping list, not all gift cards are created equally. Prior to selecting a gift card consider the terms and conditions, and purchase a gift card that is going to be easy to use. Also, with a little bit of research and effort, it is sometimes possible to get gift cards at a discount.

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