Starting anything new is bound to raise a few concerns, and the Gift Card Granny Challenge is no exception. Here are some of the biggest questions that have popped up so far in this journey and what we've found out about them:
How do I deal with a small amount of money left on my card?
Write the amount with your portable Sharpie and wait until you shop there again. Even if you don't buy anything for a while, it's free money -- or a big coupon -- when you go back again. If you're worried about losing the card or forgetting about it, you have bigger organizational issues than meet the eye.
Can I leave a tip for a server on a gift card?
Absolutely! Don't worry about stiffing your waiter with bum gratuity. Receipts will always print a balance so you know how much is left on the card. Tip from the remainder and it will update as soon at the server inputs the amount. This makes life much easier than paying with a pre-paid credit card, which can take up to seven days to process transactions.
How long does it take to receive a discounted gift card after purchasing?
When you purchase gift cards from the resellers on Gift Card Granny, they typically 2-7 days to arrive. Ebay cards may take a bit longer than that. One card I purchased took almost two weeks, but there was another issue going on that had nothing to do with the issuing company.
What if I go over the amount on the card?
Hmm...you could ditch your merchandise. Washing dishes is always a favorite in restaurants. Or plan it correctly and (perhaps) pay a bit over your gift card amount. At Chick-fil-a I had $11.72 left on my card and my bill was $12.84. We needed every ounce of food ordered, thanks to my gastronomically appreciative children, so I ponied up $1.12. Scandal!
What do I do if I buy a bad card?
Call the issuing company. Cardpool, Plastic Jungle, ABC Gift Cards and other reputable resellers guarantee your purchase. After ordering many, many cards, I haven't run into that problem yet, which is a bump I was expecting.
Do cards expire?
No, not the ones sold on reputable sites that Gift Card Granny recommends. Ebay can be a bit shady, which is why you get a great return on your investment if you can win a good bid. That comes with a risk, and if you're willing to take it, go for it!
Isn't it tough to stick to only shopping from a store where you have a gift card?
If gift cards are your only form of payment, absolutely! I've had a couple of awkward conversations so far about meeting for coffee or dinner at specific places where I have gift cards. But clipping coupons is tough. Birthing and raising children is tough. The tougher road is usually the most rewarding. So I'll keep using my shiny stack 'o cards and save big money on everything, thanks.