7 Gift Cards To Avoid


Don’t give ’em and if you can swing it, don’t get ’em.


  1. H&M …the store’s gift cards do not expire, if they’re not used within 24 consecutive months, a $2.10 service fee is charged every month thereafter that the gift card remains unused.
  2. Wal-Mart …the card is only valid on Walmart.com and cannot be used in stores in person.
  3. American Express …if the recipient decides to hold the card and wait to make an extra-special purchase, a $2 monthly fee is charged starting a year after the card is issued.
  4. Visa …Visa gift cards expire after two years of being issued and a monthly administrative fee of $2.50 is charged starting six months after the activation date.
  5. MasterCard….the HSBC MasterCard, for example, expires after 24 months and there is a $10 administrative fee to close the account and retrieve the remaining balance. After a year of being issued, there is a monthly $2.50 fee, and for individual cards purchased there is an issuance fee of $4.95 for loads between $25 and $200, and $6.95 for loads between $201 and $500.
  6. Circuit City …bankruptcy anyone?
  7. Sharper Image ….again, bankruptcy, anyone?