LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) --You know people say about gift cards: "Tell me what you want this year, or I'm getting you a gift card."
The National Retail Federation says 81 percent of holiday shoppers plan to give at least one gift card to a loved one this year.
So, to help you save some money and avoid getting ripped off this holiday season, here are eight things you need to know about gift cards from Headline News and Card Hub.
1. Wish lists lead to better gifts: A gift card to a store you don't enjoy can be a waste, so make sure to tell people the store you like to get the gift cards you'll use.
2. Unused gift cards retain value: According to Card Hub, there are three ways you can cash in on unused gift cards. First, you can sell unwanted gift cards for cash, you can trade in unused gift cards for new ones, and you can recoup unused funds of expired gift cards under unclaimed property laws.
3. Discounted gift cards are available: These are available through online gift card exchanges. You could save as much as 30 percent on popular gift cards.
4. There's value in buying gift cards with rewards: Most credit cards allow you to redeem your rewards for gift cards from a wide variety of retailers.
5. General-purpose gift cards are costly: Gift cards like Visa or American Express can cost you more in service charges than store-issued cards. The card companies make money off of fees from the cards, which does nothing for you.
6. It's easy to overspend with gift cards: Two-thirds of customers spend more than their card's face value when they shop so it's easy to overspend. Be extra careful of your spending, or giving a card to someone who tends to overspend as they may not have the money to afford it right now.
7. Shipping costs rob value from your gifts: Roughly 30 percent of gift cards from major retailer charge for shipping, so shop in store if possible.
8. Prepaid cards aren't gift cards: While they look the same, they're very different. Prepaid cards usually come with recurring fees and require extra information from the cardholder.
(Source: Headline News and Card Hub)