Giving the gift of plastic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Giving the gift of plastic

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December 28, 2006

Albany -- You probably got or gave a gift card this holiday season. The National Retail Federation estimates consumers spent more than 18-billion dollars this year on gift cards.

Circuit City had a slight increase in sales this year. People bought cards with amounts ranging from $10 up into the hundreds.

Store manager Scott Rook says they're convenient, and they make it easier on the person trying to pick out the right gift.

"The very last day, the day before Christmas, we were turning people down at the door when we were shutting up. We had another 50 customers not knowing what to get, and they ended up getting gift cards. So our boost was probably that very last day," said Scott Rook.

The Retail Federation survey estimates that gift cards amounted to 15% of the average person's holiday gift budget this year.

If you got a gift card this Christmas, make sure you check to see if it has an expiration date. Find out if there are any fees that may be subtracted from the card's value monthly. And if possible save the original receipt. If the gift card is lost or stolen, some stores can de-activate it and put your remaining balance on a new card.

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