Reasons to not spend money on gift cards

Reasons to not spend money on gift cards

Gift cards seem like a perfect solution to the problem of what to give this holiday season. Gift cards are easy to sell and wrap and are offered by shopping malls, retailers, airlines, restaurants, and hotels.

I have come up with a list of reasons why you should not spend money on a gift card this holiday season.

People get cards as gifts for stores they don’t shop at.

People get stuck with these useless cards. Friends make assumptions where there other friends shop. It is terrible to get a $25 gift card for a store that sells little at that price. I once received a $50 gift card at an expensive mens shop in Victoria, BC where I live. It was a great gesture but the problem is that everything in the store is over that price. Honestly, a pair of socks goes for $30!

It adds to the stack of plastic already in everyones purses/wallets

People have so many loyalty cards, especially in Canada, so adding another card is overwhelming. For myself it causes stress with figuring out what to purchase at this store with this valuable gift card I have sitting in my wallet!

Everyone just does not use them

Finally, this quote blew me away. “We figure roughly in the neighbourhood of $30 billion in cards is sitting around in people’s sock drawers (in the U.S.),” says Kristin Donelson, VP of Marketing with popular American gift card swap site Plastic Jungle (”. Come on people, lets stop this madness of buying useless gift cards!

I strongly believe that gift cards are a waste of a gift, unless the person redeems it for something they were intending on purchasing you might as well consider it a donation to The Gap or The Spaghetti Factory.

Thanks for including us in the Canadian Finance Carnival #14

My personal favorite articles in this carnival include:

  • Janet at Credit Cards Canada presents Credit Card Use and Materialism, saying “While this time of year can be a good time to accumulate some credit card rewards, it is also the time that many people end up racking up a great deal of debt — all in the name of buying more stuff.”
  • Geoff at Car Negotiation Coach presents How to Import a Car to Canada, saying “Ever wondered why Canadian retailers get so nervous when the “Loonie” gets close to parity with the US green back? Simply put, Canadians seemingly pay 20%-30% more for most consumer goods than do our American cousins. Fair? Hardly.”
  • Miss T at Prairie Eco-Thrifter presents Skip the Gym, Sweat at Home, saying “Save yourself the gym fees and build up a sweat in the comfort of your home with this quick and easy workout. “

Steven Zussino

Steven Zussino is the co-founder of Grocery Alerts Canada. He loves to help Canadians save money on groceries. He also runs the blog,