[Finances] I Hate Gift Cards

There. I’ve said it. I hate them with a purple passion.

Reason number uno: I do not like giving out interest-free loans to companies. That’s what a gift card is, by the way. They have your money. They don’t pay you interest. In fact, sometimes, they CHARGE you for the honor of giving you money. No, really, click here and scroll down to the part where it says:

We encourage you to use your Gift Card soon! While you may leave Available Funds, as defined herein, on the Gift Card as long as you wish, starting 366 days after the date your Gift Card was purchased, and subject to applicable law, we will deduct a monthly service fee of $2.00 from your Available Funds. If we send you a replacement card for a lost or stolen Gift Card, the initial 12 month (365 day) waiver period is still tracked from the date your original Gift Card was purchased.

Reason number dos: How many places you shop sell items in round dollars? Last time I had a $25 gift card to a book store (that I never go to anyway, since I live in Portland and Powells Hawthorne is literally eight blocks from my house, I had to shell out an additional $4.99 of my own cash. Sure, I could have left cash on the card, but that turns the gift card from an interest-free loan to a straight out gift. I do not subsidize companies with free gifts of cashy money.

My BFitWWW is getting married in a month, and you know what he and his lovely bride are getting as a gift from me? Three portraits of Andrew Jackson. Don’t worry I’m ruining the surprise, I already told him I’d give him the money to buy the milkshake machine he registered for and really wants. The cash is in case someone else gets it for him, then he can spend it on picture frames or ice cream or something.

Hey, here’s a question: Anyone else ever heard of a Money Dance? That’s where you pin cash to the bride and groom. I tell people about this and I get odd looks, but it’s a feature of every single wedding my family’s ever had, so… Are we just weird?

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2 Responses to [Finances] I Hate Gift Cards

  1. Heidi says:

    Posting here too:

    A money dance, in some regions and/or cultures is seen as outright begging for cash. That in itself can be seen as tacky or a message to people to pay for the right to be at the wedding, or that the family isn’t well enough off to give the happy couple all that they want/need.

    If everyone is comfy with it, go for it. If there is even a question about taste from the bride/groom or immediate family (read those who are shelling out the sheckles for the happy event), then its best to leave it out.

  2. Sorcha says:

    The Money Dance is very much a cultural thing, and a lot of the WASP-type cultures don’t have it.

    I remember people getting Money Trees for their birthdays back home – a little tree in a pot, real or fake, with money fastened to the branches. I felt so grown up the first year I got one.

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