2010 Gift Card Study
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5 savvy ways to spend gift cards

Buy sale items
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Buy sale items

Get the most bang out of a gift card by spending it on already-reduced merchandise. Keep an eye out for in-store and online sales. You may be able to snap up quite a bargain.

"There are so many sales going on right now. Retailers are ramping up for the holidays," Scott says. "I'm routinely seeing sales of 20 (percent) to 40 percent off at mainstream retailers."

Have just a small amount remaining on a gift card? If you're not sure what to spend it on, visit the clearance racks at the back of the store.

Has an online sale from your favorite merchant caught your eye? Before you shop, make sure a store gift card applies to online sales as well as in-store purchases.

"Astonishingly enough, some retailers won't accept gift cards for online purchases," says Joe Ridout, spokesman at Consumer Action, a consumer advocacy group based in San Francisco. "They'll only accept them in-store."




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