Gift Cards Are Evil. Here’s How to Make the Most of Them

40_050104_giftcards.jpg.CROP.original-originalGift cards are evil- they have a nice facade of a “gift” from a loved one, but really, they’re a big annoying waste of money with so many restrictions and qualifications on the gift that, oftentimes, it’s better if you never received the gift in the first place. Here are some of the evilnesses:

  1. They require purchases to be exactly the amount that’s left over (and whoever knows what that is?)
  2. They have cumbersome processes to find out what’s left on the card
  3. They typically charge inactivity fees (e.g. $2/month after a year of inactivity
  4. They’re easy to forget and thus easy to plunge into the inactivity fees
  5. Some have initiation fees

Basically, someone pays $100 for a card for a friend and for 42% of the time, some if not all of that money goes to the bank. Gift cards are financial evil!

If you have a card and can’t make the most of it, I recommend finding out how much is on it (there should be a website associated with it like where you can find out what’s left on the card) then donate it to yourself through Paypal. Paypal will charge their fee for the transaction (~3%) but it will be better than losing the entire amount to inactivity fees.

If you don’t have a merchant account set up, you can donate here: and we’ll forward the amount to your paypal account with no additional charge!