’Tis the season to buy gift cards — by tweeting?
Starbucks has come up with a new way to give a $5 gift through its tweet-a-coffee promotion. Simply use your Twitter account from Starbucks.com to send a tweet to a friend, which gives an electronic gift card that can be redeemed at Starbucks and will be charged to your credit card.
Social media is just one of the ways that merchants are giving consumers access to the $118 billion gift card industry, according to CEB TowerGroup’s annual gift card report.
According to the National Retail Federation, the cards are the No. 1 holiday gift for the seventh year. The average shopper will spend $163 on those little plastic rectangles this holiday season, according to the federation, so retailers will do all they can to facilitate the easy shopping solution.
But there are pitfalls along the way. And there are ways to save money.
Here are 10 tips from Card Hub, Gift Card Granny and the Better Business Bureau:
Regular gift cards don’t expire for at least five years from the date of issuance. Read the fine print on the card to figure out which kind you have.