Fine print explains hidden gift card fees

Posted at 7:40 PM, Dec 11, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-11 21:40:26-05

If I don't know what present to get you, then you're probably getting a gift card.

But some of you have let me know, they may be more trouble than they're worth.

Like Tom in Lake Havasu who says he bought ten $20 Visa gift cards. He figured the total would be $200.

Instead he says he was charged $259.50.

And when he question the additional amount was told that he "was charged 5.95 activation fee for each card. That is over 25% of the total of the cards."

I'm with you on this one Tom; that's pretty steep.

But it's not uncommon and if you look closely, the particulars can usually be found on the packing itself in the fine print.

The card with Visa and other financial logos can be used like debit cards.

But there is a cost for that convenience.

So before you buy check the fine print for:

Activation fees. You pay these upfront.  MasterCard and visa logo cards can cost up to 6 bucks.. they tend to increase with the worth of the card. 

Transaction fees. Yep you could be charged every time use you the card.

Dormancy fees. Because even if you don't use the card, it could still cost you.

Throw in a few balance inquiries, card replacement, even shipping fees for online purchases, and you'll mess around and have no money left.

Some good news is that store gift cards that are to be used at particular retailers, usually don't have fees.

However, of the store goes out of business, you're out of luck. So check it out and use it quickly.

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