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Gift Cards

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    As Scott Adams of Dilbert fame says, Gift Cards are a terrible gift, because they're as impersonal as cash, only you can't use them everywhere like cash, so they're actually less valuable.

    I have accumulated a small stash of gift cards. Some go fast, like Barnes and Noble or Best Buy. Some go slower. I have a couple Home Depot cards that I can rarely use because I don't own a home to fix. I have a Bed Bath and Beyond card that I have a hard time with because my house is already full of stuff. I have a couple low-value Blockbuster cards that aren't worth shit anymore since they went into bankruptcy (oops).

    So occasionally I will try to find the least-traditional stuff at a store for which I have a gift card. For example, you can get A/V cables and a few computer supplies at Home Depot, as well as cleaning products and boxes.

    FOCUS: What have you bought just because you had a gift card? What item have you gotten from a store that is way out of their normal line of business just to burn some value on a gift card?
     
  2. Frank

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    I went to Olive Garden for lunch, it was horrible.

    Just an FYI for those of you with unwanted gift cards, there's a crap load of sites that will buy them from you for a discount to sell them at a smaller discount, further proving Scott Adam's theory.
     
  3. bewildered

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    This is the beauty of those Mastercard gift cards. I guess cards are supposed to be less trashy looking than opening up an envelope of cash.
     
  4. Harry Coolahan

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    Amazingly, I've somehow only been gifted 2 gift cards in the last 7 or 8 years. They were iTunes gift cards, I just gave them to my little sister.

    I genuinely don't like owning many possessions, so having to buy something I don't need is almost worse than not having anything. I would rather give away a gift card and let someone else enjoy it than buy something I don't need or particularly want.

    I think Amazon gift cards are the only ones I'd be happy to receive, I just apply them to my account and forget I have them, and then six months later when I'm buying something on Amazon I'm presently surprised to see them ask me if I want to take $10 off my purchase by using the card.
     
  5. zyron

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    Yes, nothing is as great as losing $3 when you activate the cheapest one (It goes up based on the amount of card) and then losing money each month after you activate it if you don't use it in time.
     
  6. bewildered

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    They must have changed this within the past couple years because the last time I got one there were no fees. I guess they are stupid after all! yay!
     
  7. CharlesJohnson

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    No shit, if someone gave me an Olive Garden card I'd cram that fucking thing down their tiny fucking throat. It's like getting a Chili's gift card. THIS is your idea of a good time? Thanks, for the gooey meal and the burning ass piss that fires out with a bottle rocket screech. Why, yes, I *did* have a happy birthday. Always wanted a toilet that looked like Hiroshima. Is that gunpowder residue in the bowl? Wtf do they put in a chicken taco?!

    My uncle's 14th wife got me a Walmart card. I loaded up on socks, a frozen pizza, and a tropical shirt with fabric made of what felt like aluminum. It had a cross eyed parrot on it and I don't think a Haitian would be caught wearing it. She meant well, but, damn.

    The worst part about gift cards is going under the allotment. Now you have $4 here, 35 cents there, and eventually you have a pile from 10 different places next to your wallet collecting dust. I just toss 'em. Going over at places like this pisses me off. I didn't want anything to begin with and now I'm unloading my own money because someone was at a Walgreen's check out and remembered my birthday last minute. I don't mean to sound ungrateful. Put this in first world problems. But damn, it's not a big deal to forget me. Why the fuck can't you make me a pie instead?!
     
  8. AlmostGaunt

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    A relative of mine who unwisely wanted me to settle down and ruin some poor woman's life used to send me gift cards to home-maker stores - you know, the sorts with fancy baking dishes and what have you. This passive aggressive shit irritated me, right up until the point where I realized these stores sold whipped cream chargers - better known as whippit / nang canisters. Now every time I lobotomize myself I say a silent thank you to Aunty Betty.
     
  9. $100T2

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    For the past few years, we've gotten a gift card for a restaurant.

    The problem is, it's a pricey restaurant, it's not geographically convenient, and I don't like anything on the menu. My wife's parents love this place, it's right near them, so they give my wife and her two sisters a gift card to it for Christmas. At some point, my wife and I have to drag ourselves over to the place to use up the card, but I really don't want to bother going because, like I said, it's over priced and I don't like anything there other than the bar. The bar, of course, isn't covered by the gift card.

    As far as this:

    I'm going to have to slightly modify that. Gift cards are a terrible gift in many cases, but in some, they are the best thing ever: Quick, what do you get for your 13 year old niece for her birthday?

    Exactly. A gift card.
     
  10. Chellie

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    The only good gift cards are the ones you can use for any store in a mall. Last year my company Christmas bonus was a $500 gift card to one of Edmonton's better shopping centers, and it could be used anywhere from Safeway to Chapters to Best Buy. I was happier than a pig in poop when I got that, and used it all to give my kids one hell of a Christmas morning.

    As for odd gift card purchases, I used a Wal-Mart gift card to buy dog poop pick up bags.
     
  11. Frank

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    I like Amazon gift cards, they are as good as cash, especially for someone like me that gets their toothpaste and other hygiene products from them. For some reason it's generally accepted as being more personal than cash even though it really isn't. I love it though because pretty much every single present I've ever gotten I'd have taken the purchase price for in cash anyway.
     
  12. Nick

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    For the most part, gift cards suck (for reasons already stated). Restaurant gift certificates are the absolute worst, unless they are for some place really nice like Capital Grille, etc. One of my old employees used to buy our entire department $40 gift cards to Chili's every Christmas. I understand he was trying to be nice, but who the fuck considers eating at Chili's to be a treat?

    A couple of really good gift cards/certificates that I've received over the years:

    - Vouchers for shoe shines at a place next to my office downtown in Chicago. This might not sound like a great gift, but it came in extremely handy.

    - Gift certificate for 6 mini-massages at the spa in the gym I used to work out at. It was only like a 25 minute quick post-workout massage, but was a pretty awesome idea.

    - iTunes gift cards. Sounds silly, but as opposed to Best Buy gift cards, you can use them from the convenience of your couch.
     
  13. Nom Chompsky

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    A gift card to a place you would never go is a terrible gift, but they're not all bad. Nothing is as fungible as cash, but the point of a gift often isn't utility, it's to get somebody something that shows you know them and that they might not have gotten themselves.

    A gift card to a store they might like is mediocre and lazy at this, but it at least does that somewhat more than cash.

    Restaurant gift cards only suck to me if they can't be used on alcohol, which is unfortunately often the case.
     
  14. Slambrarian

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    For our baby shower we received tons of gift cards - mostly to Target and Babies r Us -and they were great because we barely had to pay for anything out of pocket the first year of his life. We could by our diaper inserts (gDiapers b/c we are hippies) and formula when nursing stopped, etc. I always recommend them when people are stumped for baby shower gifts.

    Also, because we are yuppie hippies - we love Starbucks gift cards. It's our once (or twice) as week treat - mostly on weekends - and if we don't have to pay with our own money it's an even better treat!

    Otherwise I am not a fan. My brother got me an Olive Garden gift card years ago b/c I used to go with my grandmother. Well she died and it sat around for years before we forced ourselves to eat there - and it was still usable but I don't need to go back there. And I hate those Mastercard/Visa gift cards - I have yet to be able to use them easily in any store. They are gifts for people you hate.

    P.S. Amazon gift cards rule.
     
  15. lhprop1

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    I don't mind gift cards. The people who get them for me get them from places I love to go, like Cabela's, Thorne Bros, Joe's, Rollie and Helen's Musky Shop, etc. I already spend a shitload of money on hunting and fishing gear, so gift cards to those places are just like having a discount.

    Plus, they give me a justifiable reason to tell the wife why I need to buy more fishing shit.
     
  16. Rush-O-Matic

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    I bought a trail camera from Bass Pro Shops, not because I needed it, but because a contractor gave me a $100 gift card for Christmas. Never would've bought it otherwise.

    Like Black Jesus points out, I hate going over the amount. But, when I'm under, I'll try and nail that sucker to the penny. So, when I'm short at Staples or Barnes & Noble or Lowe's, I'll grab stuff near the register - gum, soda, whatever.

    If I have a couple bucks left, instead of tossing them, I'll hand it to somebody that's walking into the store as I walk out. "Hey, I had 2 bucks left, you can have this if you want." Everybody wins.

    Most of the ones I get are for stores I go to all the time anyway. If I have more than $5 left, I stick them in my drawer next to the computer, and use them the next time I shop there on line to cover shipping or get an extra "discount."
     
  17. fishy

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    I don't know what you guys are talking about. Every Chili's gift card I've gotten has gone to chips & salsa and beer. And they have TV'S! With sports on!

    Sort of on focus: Fry said something about using gift cards for unintended purposes. When I was poor and in college my parents would occasionally give me supermarket gift cards for a couple hundred bucks so I could buy groceries/toiletries/necessities/whatever.

    A keg of Miller Lite and 4 cheap handles of whiskey uses up a $200 gift card nicely.
     
  18. goodlife23

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    Speaking as a former waiter, we also hate restaurant gift cards. I can't tell you how many times I got a $50 gift card used towards a $70 check and got tipped based on the remaining $20 balance. Fuck restaurant gift cards.
     
  19. Best_Name_Ever

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    I keep all of my gift cards even if they only have .36 cents on them. I will not cut a gift card in half and throw it away until the balance on it is $0.00, and maybe that's an odd habit to have, but I'm okay with it. I've never really bought anything that I didn't need; I usually just splurge when I'm trying to spend a gift card by buying more clothes or shoes than I normally would.
     
  20. Renholder

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    I won a $50 gift card at work to a really expensive restaurant. I would never go there knowing I had to pay full price otherwise. My girlfriend and I had appetizers, drinks, and dessert thinking we could treat ourselves to something nice. Our bill was $130 AFTER the gift card, and that's not even including the $40 tip I had to leave the fantastic waitress who talked us into spending so much. Fuck that place. I don't care how amazing the food was.


    I love Best Buy, though. My birthday is coming up and I've told a few people that if they really want to get me something, get me a gift card from there.