Use gift cards before retailers go bankrupt. If you’re a regular reader of this website you know I save major money by acquiring gift cards at a discount and then use them to dine out and to buy things I need that are on sale.
Who’s going bankrupt next
We all keep hearing about all the retailers who are filing for bankruptcy or on retailer bankruptcy watch lists.
This got me thinking – what happens to all the unused gift cards? I researched it and basically most times when a retailer goes out of business your gift cards are worthless. So if you’re holding gift cards for any retailers teetering on the edge of insolvency you may want to use them sooner rather than later.
Use up your gift cards now
Ideally you’ll want to find something close to the value of the gift card so this isn’t an exercise in spending more money. You may want to look for things you need on sale or if the price looks reasonable. Consider stocking up or buying a gift. I used an ancient $25 Sears merchandise credit last Christmas and got a decent blanket online that cost around $15 plus $11 for shipping. I never pay for shipping but I just wanted to get rid of the card before they went bust. Their website is a mess but you may find something.
These retailers are handicapped by Bloomberg, Fortune, etc. to be in financial trouble:
Ann Taylor: Look at accessories, belts, sunglasses.
JC Penney: I haven’t been in a Penney’s in probably over twenty years so I’m not sure what they sell. You might want to look at small housewares like a toaster or hand mixer. If you can use a JC Penney gift card to buy a third part gift card look for a rack and see if they sell anything you need.
J Crew: Look at accessories, belts, sunglasses.
Kmart: Ditto for Kmart like Penney’s. I’m not sure what they sell. If they sell cleaning supplies or sundries like shampoo that might work. Or batteries. Kmart like Sears below doesn’t allow the use of gift cards to buy third party gift cards.
Macy’s: All Macy’s have restaurants. Consider a meal and/or cocktail(s).
Sears: See above. Sears doesn’t allow you to use their gift cards to buy third party gift cards.
This is probably really just the tip of the iceberg. If you have retail gift cards use them now before it’s too late!