Updated: Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010, 8:44 AM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 20 Oct 2010, 8:44 AM EDT
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Having trouble deciding on a holiday gift?
The best choice might be to let someone decide for themselves.
And if you do go the gift card route, you're hardly alone.
Finding the perfect gift for someone during the holidays can be a challenge. So it is no surprise that more than half of all Americans are expected to buy at least one gift card this year. There are some things you should know.
Gift cards are a great holiday gift because the recipient can wait and may be able to get a better deal when the holidays are over. And due to gift card regulations that came into effect in late August, gift cards can't expire for at least five years. Companies can't start charging fees on the cards for at least 12 months.
The National Retail Federation says the most popular kinds of gift cards are those from restaurants, department stores, bookstores and electronics stores.
But make sure you buy from a reputable store, one that has no chance of going out of business. If you choose to buy one from American Express, MasterCard or Visa, it can be used at many places, but those cards have the most restrictions.
But the bottom line is that gift cards were never meant to be savings products. You need to use them or risk their running out. And if you have problems with any gift cards, call the vendor and ask them to do something about it.