(November 19, 2012)--The Better Business Bureau says there are some things you should know before purchasing a gift card this holiday season.
They warn that some gift cards could carry high fees resulting in a poor deal.
In 2010, The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act established standards to protect retailers when using gift cards.
Store gift cards and general use prepaid cards often branded by American Express, MasterCard and Visa cannot expire less than five years after the card is purchased and dormancy, inactivity, and service fees cannot be charged until after 12 months.
The BBB says that although the act does offer some protection for consumers, issuers can still charge fees every time the card is used, the balance is checked, a replacement card is requested and customer service is called.
Four ways to get the best bang for your buck is to research before you buy, read the fine print, inspect the card to make sure stickers are not removed and PIN numbers aren’t visible, and provide a receipt when purchasing a card for someone else.