gift card

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Next From Starbucks: Gift Card for 'the 1%'

Exclusive $450 steel card a coffee snob's dream

(Newser) - Now you have an equally snooty way to pay for that snooty-sounding $7 cup of coffee . Starbucks has announced that it will sell a limited run of exclusive gift cards crafted from steel and preloaded with a $400 credit, reports USA Today . The cost? Not $400 but $450, as it... More »

Skip the Gift Cards: Just Give Money

Too many of the cards go unused: New York Times

(Newser) - Someone on the New York Times editorial board must have gotten some crappy gift cards under the tree this year: The newspaper today proselytizes against the ever-growing trend and suggests that people give cash instead. Too many cards get lost or forgotten, and considering Americans spent $27.8 billion on... More »

Thieving Employees Do Brisk Business in Gift Cards

Lower-risk way to steal from the boss

(Newser) - Employee fraud, which accounts for a large and growing chunk of the total $36 billion a year the retail industry loses to theft, is increasingly taking the form of gift cards: easy to walk out of a store with, and easy to redeem without showing ID. With overall employee theft... More »

Americans Send Fewer Holiday Cards

Penny-pinchers skimp on mailbox cheer

(Newser) - Noticing a certain emptiness in your mailbox? Holiday cards are the latest victims of the weak economy—Americans sent 11% fewer pieces of mail than in 2008 during the first half of December, the US Postal Service reports. Hallmark estimates that 1.8 billion holiday cards will be sent this... More »

Holiday Shopping Tip: Money Can Buy You Love

Yuletide economics dissected

(Newser) - Christmas is coming, and the "voluntary December calamity" of destruction of billions of dollars in value is under way, writes George Will. People will splurge on gifts their relatives and friends don't want or need, and the discrepancy between the cost of the present and its value to the... More »

In War on STDs, NC Tries New Weapon: Bribery

Syphilis outbreak sparks offer of gift card in exchange for test

(Newser) - The incidence of syphilis is spiking in the economically hard-hit South, and health officials have lit on a novel preventative measure, MSNBC reports: Wal-Mart gift cards. Syphilis tends to rebound in tough times, and a program in North Carolina induces patients to submit to a test in exchange for the... More »

Declines in Gift Cards, Self-Splurges Hurt Retailers

(Newser) - Naughty or nice, America’s retail stores can’t look forward to two of the holiday season’s usual boons: gift card sales and “self-gifting” splurges, MarketWatch reports. About 44% of shoppers say they will not buy gift cards this year, up from 26% last year, a marketing study... More »

Send That Online Pal an Off-Line Drink

'Give Real' allows users to give credits for bars, restaurants

(Newser) - For those who are sick of shelling out to send Facebook friends cupcake icons and virtual champagne bottles for occasions, the startup Give Real has the answer. Through their site (or via a Facebook app), you can buy a friend credits redeemable at nearly any bar or restaurant in America.... More »

Man Trades Baby Name for $100 Gas Card

Free fuel on offer for everything from brothels to bloodbanks

(Newser) - An Orlando man agreed to name his baby after two local radio hosts in exchange for a gift card worth $100 of gasoline, Reuters reports. The listener will collect the card in December, when his son is born, after producing a birth certificate. He's not the only American susceptible to... More »

Gift Cards Not Looking So Sharp

Bankrupt retailer isn't honoring $25M in gift cards

(Newser) - Consumers holding Sharper Image gift cards are out a collective $25 million after the gadget retailer stopped honoring the cards when it filed for bankruptcy in February, MarketWatch reports. With the shaky economy likely to produce more bankruptcies over the next year or two, consumers would be wise to redeem... More »

States, Sellers Drooling Over Gift Card Sales

Retailers add revenue when they're used, but states want their share

(Newser) - After enduring tepid holiday sales, retailers are happily awaiting $8 billion from shoppers with unused gift cards—because only then can sellers claim the added revenue, BusinessWeek reports. But some US states say that their unclaimed-property laws enable them to extract a piece of the left-over card pie. What's really... More »

Retail Scores Big on Unused Gift Cards

$7.8B in cards unused annually; some states want cut of profit

(Newser) - Retailers are likely rubbing their hands with glee after shoppers snapped up $97 billion in gift cards this year, up from $83 billion in 2006. Why the excitement? The industry makes billions each year from “breakage," or gift card money that is never spent. Lost, discarded, or under-used... More »

12 Stories