A spot on the news this morning defended, "Oh no, gift cards are NOT impersonal. But don't give cash anymore, because cash is impersonal."
Gift cards, on the surface, seem harmless enough. But c'mon, it's a racket.
My 13 year-old son received a $40 gift card last December and he noted that the card's expiration date was a year away. He, unlike my other kids, likes to take his time deciding what to spend his money on.
So on a recent trip to the mall, he popped into the researched store of his choice to buy the researched item of choice and, low and behold, the store clerk informed him that his "gift" value had decreased by $12 due to the time elapsed since purchase.
Are you kidding me? I understand it dropping to zero on the expiration date, but depreciating its value during its valid period is lousy. Try cheering up a broken-hearted 13 year-old who cannot see how this is fair (hint: it isn't).
For family, cash is possibly still a better gift than a gift card with a squirrely policy.
Definitely, before sending your clients a gift card, check the policy! Do you want them to have this sort of experience when they cash in your gift?
Maybe just send them a good old-fashioned bottle of wine or a great book, instead...