Monday, April 12, 2010

Vanilla Gift Cards Suck

The absolutely worse gift it is possible to get, with the possible exception of a komodo dragon or an STD, is a gift card.  Anything the issuing company can charge you for they will.  When you buy one they charge you.  If you don’t use it they charge you.  If you lose it you wish whoever had given it to you had given something to a charity instead! 

Poor Bri got a gift card for her birthday and used it once to buy twelve dollars worth of stuff.  What happened to the remaining thirteen dollars you wonder?  Oh . . . well, that was sucked up by the company in a charming example of corporate greed -- two dollars and fifty cents a month.  Nice Vanilla, it’s just like stealing lollypops from a thirteen year-old.

I suggest an anti-gift card movement.  No one uses them up anyway.  There is always a couple of bucks left on them that the company sucks up!  People lose them, forget about them and wouldn’t we really all prefer cash anyway.  Cash we can spend anywhere.


Judd said...

I agree, gift cards can be a rotten apple for consumers, and their popularity seems to defy common wisdom.

I believe better information would help consumers make smart decisions and, in turn, drive change in the industry. Not all bank issued (Visa Mastercard, etc) are created equally.

I've created a service which score gift cards and the Vanilla Visa has a low Gift Card Score (57 out of 100).

There are Visa gift cards that score above 80 on and it's typically because they don't carry any fees after the initial sale.

Thanks for writing about your experience!

Anonymous said...

In Massachusetts, if you use up 90% or more on a gift card, they have let you take the rest as cash. Marcy

Eileen said...

You are so funny! I have never heard of Vanilla. But, I love gift cards and have only let one go unused (which was a spa one and I don't go to places like that).

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