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Retail gift cards

Compare Gift Cards » Retail Gift Cards

Whether you're planning on stuffing it in a stocking or tucking it under a tree, the gift card is a go-to idea for many a harried shopper.

But what kind of gift card should you get for Aunt Sally or cousin Mike? That's where Bankrate comes in. Using data we collected from Aug. 27 to Sept. 11, 2014, we looked at the terms and features of 62 different gift cards, including general purpose cards, store-branded retail cards, restaurant cards, airline cards and gas station cards.

Using the chart below, you can compare these cards to find out the one that suits your needs based on factors such as the amount you can put on the card to any fees it costs to buy one. This way, everyone comes out a winner this season.

Select card features:
  • Expires
  • Inactivity fee
  • PIN available
  • Reloadable
  • Loss/theft protection
  • Mobile/e-card
  • Free shipping
  • Purchase fees
  • Online balance check

  • Amazon.com
    Loading limits: Denomination availability varies.
    • Gift cards $10-$2,000; gift cards purchased through email, Facebook or printed $0.50-$2,000; gift cards in a gift box $50-$500.
    • Free one-day shipping of physical gift cards in contiguous 48 states; shipping charges added in HI, AK.
    • Facebook and email delivery/redemption available.
  • Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy
    Loading limits: $10-$500 if purchased online. May purchase other amounts by phone (1-888-BR-STYLE).
    • E-mail and text delivery available.
    • If card or email is lost, only the remaining balance can be transferred to another card/e-card number (no protection against any amounts used).
  • Barnes & Noble
    Loading limits: $10-$350.
    • Shipping: $0.95
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
    Loading limits: GC: $25, $50, $100, $200. E-card: $5-$300.
    • Gift card, reloadable; e-card, not reloadable.
  • Best Buy
    Loading limits: GC: $15-$200 E-card: $5-$500
    • Gift card, reloadable; e-card, not reloadable.
  • Bloomingdale's
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000
    • Gift card, reloadable; e-card, not reloadable.
    • Shipping Surcharge: $5
    • Must print e-card for use in store.
  • Costco
    Loading limits: $25-$1,000
    • PIN available for online.
    • Cash cards can be used until empty w/o membership requirement.
  • CVS
    Loading limits: $5-$150
    • Loss/theft protection not available for gift card; available for e-card.
    • Gift card, reloadable; e-card, not reloadable.
  • Dillard's
    Loading limits: GC: $10-$1,000 E-card: $10-$250
     
  • eBay.com
    Loading limits: GC: $25, $50, $100 E-card: $5-$500
    • To use an eBay gift card, one must set up an eBay and a PayPal account, and link both to a bank account or credit card.
    • Lost, stolen or damaged gift cards will not be replaced, except in limited circumstances or where required by law, and only if the gift card has never been used (and with proof of purchase as required by PayPal). A processing fee may apply. If you have already used a portion of your gift card, the remaining balance is attached to your PayPal account and can be applied to future purchases, even if you lost the card.
  • Home Depot
    Loading limits: Online plastic: $10-$500. In-store plastic: $5-$2,000. E-card: $25-$500.
    • Loss/theft protection not available for gift card; available for e-card.
  • iTunes
    Loading limits: Online: $25, $50, $100. In-store: $10-$100.
    • Plastic cards are only available in stores. Online purchases are e-cards only.
  • JCPenney
    Loading limits: $10-$250 for both
    • Gift card, reloadable; e-card, not reloadable.
  • Kmart
    Loading limits: $10-$500
     
  • Kohl's
    Loading limits: $10-$100. E-card: $5-$250.
    • E-cards can be sent to mobile phone and scanned from there.
  • Kroger
    Loading limits: $10-$250
    • Purchase at store or online. Online shipping fee: USPS first class: $0.50 FedEx 2-3 day: $7.75 FedEx 1-2 day: $13.00
    • Cards with a $100+ balance must be shipped FedEx.
  • Lowe's
    Loading limits: $5-$500; e-cards: up to $100
    • E-cards can be sent to email and pulled up on phone.
  • Macy's
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000
    • Print e-card to use.
  • Marshalls / TJ Maxx
    Loading limits: $25, $50, $75, $100, $200
    • USPS Regular Mail: Free USPS Priority Mail: $6.50 FedEx 2-Day: $10 FedEx Priority Overnight: $12.50
  • Meijer
    Loading limits: $5, $10, $15 $20, $25, $50, $75, $100 $250, $500
    • $6 for $250+ cards
  • Nordstrom
    Loading limits: $25, $40, $50, $75, $100, $150, $200, $250, $300, $400, $500, $750, $1,000
    • E-card must be printed for in-store use.
  • Office Depot
    Loading limits: GC: $10, $15, $20, $25, $30, $40, $50, $75, $100, $200. E-card: $5 - $500.
    • GC: No E-card: Yes
    • E-card can be presented on mobile device as long as code/number is present.
  • Overstock.com
    Loading limits: $10, $15, $20, $25, $45, $50, $75, $100, $150, $200, $250, $500, $1,000
    • Standard shipping: Free
  • Pilot Travel Center
    Loading limits: $1,000 maximum
    • Purchase in store
  • Publix
    Loading limits: $5-$500
     
  • RadioShack
    Loading limits: $10-$400
     
  • Rite Aid
    Loading limits: $1-$500
    • Purchase free shipping in store.
    • Remember that after the passage of time -- which should be more than 2 years -- your gift card may be subject to a deactivation date, which means the gift card will be deactivated from immediate use at a cash register. (The deactivation date is not an expiration date on the gift card balance.)
    • The available card balance (as of the deactivation) will remain available for your use, but you may be required to exchange a deactivated gift card, (at no charge) for a new gift card in the amount of the available balance. If you have problems obtaining a replacement gift card after deactivation, please contact us.
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
    Loading limits: $25, $50, $75, $100, $150, $200, $250, $300, $400, $500
    • Online balance check not available for gift card; available for e-card.
    • E-card must be printed for in-store use.
  • Sears
    Loading limits: $10-$500
    • E-card must be printed for in-store use.
  • Spafinder.com
    Loading limits: GC: $25, $50, $75, $100, $125, $150, $200, $250, $300, $500. E-card: Same as above, and in increments of $50 between $300-$500.
    • E-cards may need to be printed, depending on location/franchise.
  • Staples
    Loading limits: GC: $25, $50, $75, $100. E-card: $5-$250
    • Secure shipping fee: $1.99
  • Target
    Loading limits: $5-$1,000
    • Some card offers have a max of $200.
    • E-card is not reloadable unless converted to mobile.
    • Shipping fee can be $1.95.
    • E-cards can only be used online, unless converted to mobile.
  • Toys R Us
    Loading limits: $10-$1,000
    • GC: Yes E-card: No
    • Purchase fee: $1.95
  • Walgreens
    Loading limits: Loading limits: In-store cards: $5-$500. Online cards: $25, $50, $100.
     
  • Wal-Mart
    Loading limits: GC: $10-$1,000 E-card: $5-$200
    • If a non-Sam's Club member receives a gift card (either type), there is a 10% service fee.
    • E-cards must be printed to use in either Wal-Mart or Sam's Club.
  • Whole Foods Market
    Loading limits: $20-$500
    • Virtual and physical gift cards cannot be used online.
    • A gift card cannot be replaced if lost or stolen. Gift cards should be treated like cash. For this reason, we advise you to choose UPS for shipping, as it is more secure.
    • Under certain circumstances, and if the card has not been redeemed, we may be able to reissue a card if you have your gift card number and proof of purchase.
    • Lost physical cards will be replaced with e-cards.

Source: Bankrate.com

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