I got a nice $100 Visa gift card for my birthday last month.( I am not looking you in the mouth, Gift Horse). These look like credit card numbers, have numbers like credit cards.
But there is is something tricky there- it’s nearly impossible to spend them down to zero. I ordered well over the amount on Amazon, thinking I could pay the rest with my regular credit card. However, my order of 4 items was split to two retailers, so one part was processed ($57 worth) but because the rest was more than what was left on the card, Amazon asked for a new card.
So the only way to use up the card is keep chipping away at it until it is next to nothing (or nothing).
But how many people really do that? I read reports that said 6-10% of gift cards in general don’t get used at all. But I wonder for the ones that are used, how much extra fluff on the card the sellers get to keep. Even if it is 5% per card, that would add up.
It works like this- you give a merchant $100 real dollars. They give me a chunk of plastic, and even if I am diligent, I may only spend $90 of it. Look what they get.
I don’t want to play cards with those fellas.
I managed to spend mine down to 43 cents left. If anyone wants to spend that, let me know, I’ll slide you my number.
The post "Bitten By a Card Shark" was originally slapped on the butt by a cigar smoking doctor yelling "It's a post!" at CogDogBlog (http://cogdogblog.com/2010/05/card-shark/) on May 14, 2010.