National reports say many people received gift cards instead of presents for Christmas this year — and one state official is advising you to not let the cards go to waste. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says many people throw the gift card on the dresser and forget to take advantage of them.
Fitzgerald says 10-percent of the gift cards that’re given out don’t get used. Fitzgerald knows from experiences as he gave his daughter a gift card she hasn’t used yet. Fitzgerald says failing to use gift cards could cost you.
He says some merchants charge fees, such as deducting money for each month you don’t use the gift card. Fitzgerald says leaving your gift cards sitting on the dresser benefits businesses, but does you no good.
Fitzgerald says businesses are using our money until we come forward and cash in the gift cards. Fitzgerald says most businesses are willing to work with people — and he says his office encourages the businesses to get people to use their gift cards.
Fitzgerald says businesses have discovered that if you have a business card and come in and use it, most people don’t just spend the amount of the card, they double that amount. Fitzgerald says gift cards that go unused for three years have to be given to the state as unclaimed property.