There are places where you can sell or trade those
unused gift cards. You can also acquire cards you actually
would use from somebody selling or trading his.
Actually no. Under the accounting regs, they have to be carried on the
books as a liability until they are used. There might be some length of
time after which they can book the profit, but the companies want you to
use them ASAP.
"Even I realized that money was to politicians what the ecalyptus tree is to
koala bears: food, water, shelter and something to crap on."
Depending on your state or province, if the lawmakers haven't outlawed the
practice, the companies that sell the gift cards assign a monthly fee to the
card's value, slowly reducing the spending value of the card until the card
becomes valueless. Many times this will only take a year to make the card
useless, so I recommend that you use them as soon as possible so that you
get some value from them.
re: "*the* companies that sell the gift cards assign a monthly fee to
the card's value..."
Perhaps you should have said *some* companies.
Not all companies do it, not even within the same state. Some
companies set fixed expiration dates, some decrease the value, some
companies let them last "forever".
Sometimes they even mix-and-match. We have a car-wash that sells a
"gift pack" of 3 car washes and dinner for 2 at a specific restaurant
chain for $X.
The car wash coupons never expire but the restaurant card has an
expiration date of about 3 months out.
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