Q&A with Lauren Harris
Cash cards make graduate gifts
that always fit recipient’s needs
Q: What are some creative, yet practical, gifts to give recent graduates?
A: It can be difficult to find the perfect gift for graduates, especially if you are buying for multiple graduates. Gift cards are an easy gift to give and can be personal, from their favorite store, or universal. They are convenient for you and the graduate.
Q: What types of gift cards will grads find most useful?
A: An important rule is to be practical. Give gift cards that a graduate will use the most. For example, gas cards are a great idea; anyone who has a car would appreciate a free tank of gas. You might consider a gift card to a supermarket to help them out with their weekly groceries. Or, give a gift card to a clothing store so they can buy professional clothes they will need if they are starting a new job. The best option may be one that doesn’t limit where the graduate can spend it. Gift cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover can be used wherever major credit cards are accepted, and may be bought at some banks, including First Fidelity Bank.
Q: Are there any tricks to saving when you buy a gift card?
boldA: Check out sites that offer discounted gift cards, like GiftCardGranny.com or GiftCards.com. Both sites have a large selection of various types of gift cards for up to 35 percent off. This is helpful if you need to buy gift cards for multiple graduates. You can give the graduate more without having to overspend. Check online before purchasing the gift card in-store, to find out if you can find it at a discounted price. Be careful, of course, to only buy gift cards from legitimate sources. Fraudulent gift cards frequently are sold on sites like eBay and Craigslist.
Q: What should you look for when buying a gift card?
A: Be aware of expiration dates on cards and whether the value is lost if not used within a specific period of time. Typically, there will be a nominal issuance fee for the card, but be sure there aren’t additional or hidden fees or restrictions.
PAULA BURKES, Business Writer