[REACT-LIST] Beware Gift Cards

Ron McCracken ron.mccr at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 17 15:18:41 EST 2015

Did you get a VISA gift card from anyone? Beware. It likely has a little built-in surprise.

Use your VISA gift card at many restaurants and it will ding you for a 20% tip. You may already have left a tip at your table, or you may add one to your cheque. Surprise! VISA will graciously add another 20% anyway, automatically. That bumps your tip up to 40% or so. Not too many of us are tippers in that bracket. 

Look at your bill very carefully before and after you sign. News here yesterday reported just such a 'sting' by VISA. The restaurant blamed VISA. VISA, of course, blamed the restaurant. Either way, you will be the victim so be warned before you use it. Don't give any VISA gift cards to friends you value either.

Gift cards are generally a scam. Governments had to intervene to stop the 'fees' that quickly made gift cards totally worthless. This latest VISA gimmick amounts to another pricey 'fee' to rip off your friend for 20% of what you planned to give him/her. MC is likely doing the same. If you use gift cards at all, investigate beforehand to ensure that there are NO fees of any kind, that your friend will receive the full amount that you have paid out. You may well be stunned. Some companies are very honourable; many are not. Get to know the honourable ones; shun the crooks.

Cash or a cheque is by far your safest choice. No gimmicks, fees, or other cheating with either of those. The person gets exactly the amount you intended him/her to get. Blessings 		 	   		  
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