I love getting gift cards as gifts because they are almost as good as cash. Almost. But, with the economy struggling and people needing to monitor their spending ever more we need to consider the short and long term value of a gift card this holiday season.
What might be a good purchase today, may not be after the holidays. Why? Because there is some doubt on whether or not struggling retailers will honor store gift cards after the holidays.
There is much speculation on this topic. While I don’t have the answers, I can point you to some sources that might help provide greater insight on how specific stores will handle gift card transactions after the holidays:
Good Morning America came out with a story on November 25, 2008 called “Gift Cards: Fact vs. Fiction: Find Out Which Stores' Gift Cards Should Be Avoided This Holiday Season“. (read GMA article)
Online myth-buster, Snopes.com, has a lengthy string of articles regarding stores closing and gift cards. (read Snopes article)
The New York Times published a story on November 22, 2008 called “The gift card comes wrapped in a growing risk”. (read New York Times article)
The Chicago Tribune published a story on November 19, 2008, called “Gift cards tagged with doubt”. (read Chicago Tribune article)