Better Call Behnken: Gift card warning

(WFLA) - Jeanine Parrish is a frugal person. She even taught her daughter to save her money and the gift cards she receives. But that didn't work out so well.

"My daughter had some of these gift cards and we sat them aside for a rainy day and the rainy day came and we went to activate them, and they were empty," Parrish said.

That's because they waited too long to activate the cards. The three cards, worth a combined $200, were basically worthless.

"I feel bad because that's someone's hard-earned money that they gave to her, and now it's gone," Parrish said.

The money on two cards had gone back to the bank.

"That green one did have $10 left on it, so I asked them to reissue me a card," Parrish said. "They did, but there was a $4.95 activation fee."

Some cards charge a fee to activate. Once activated, some charge a monthly fee. If the store goes out of business before you use the card, you're out of luck. Some gift cards have a time limit to activate, even if the expiration date shows you have plenty of time.

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