Homestead Hack: How To Keep Track Of Gift Card Balances

by Tammy Taylor~

Gift Cards, we all love ’em!  RancherMan & I receive gift cards as gifts sometimes.  Many of our family & friends say since we don’t like lots of ‘stuff’, a restaurant gift card is a good option.  We agree!  Going to a restaurant for a meal is a treat for us since we don’t get to do it often.  We have a collection of gift cards.  Some are for restaurants, some are for home improvement stores, etc.  We keep them in a small leather pouch in our glove box. That way when we’re out & about we can stop for a quick meal or to pick up a part. Maybe you’ve received a gift card recently and are anxious to put it to good use.  But how often do you use the entire value of a gift card on the first time?  Not often, right?  As you thumb through your gift cards it’s hard to tell how much you still have available to you.  But no more!  RancherMan’s discovered an easy way to keep track.  Check out today’s Homestead Hack.

Recently we received a gift card as part of a price-match guarantee when we purchased our new refrigerator.  This card could be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted.  But we couldn’t use it all at one time.  Once we pulled it out to purchase a plumbing part to fix our sink, another time for a chicken waterer part, etc.  So RancherMan came up with this easy way to keep tabs on the balance of this card as well as the other cards in our glove box.

When we use the gift card he’ll bring it back into the house along with our purchases.  If the receipt doesn’t indicate the balance on the card he simply logs on to the website shown on the back of the card to check the balance.  That will tell him how much value still remains to be used on the card.

Then he’ll use some white-out tape to place a writing surface somewhere on the card. He’ll write the  balance there where it’s easy to see.  When we use this card again he’ll repeat the process, covering the previous balance with white-out tape.  Then he’ll write the current balance on that clean strip.

So no more guessing if there’s anything left on this card.  This is a super-easy way we can stay on top of those values and make sure they all get used!

~TMH~

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2 thoughts on “Homestead Hack: How To Keep Track Of Gift Card Balances

  1. ColleenB.

    Clever man you have there Tammy. Thing to remember about giving or receiving gift cards: When fees are legally assessed, gift cards ( some, not all ) lose their value like water going down a slow drain. Monthly service fees, inactivity fees, dormancy fees and so on may be charged against the card balance until the entire value is depleted. A gift card that starts out with a balance of 50 dollars, for example, may be charged a non-use fee of anywhere from two to five dollars per month. At two dollars per month, the 50 dollar initial balance will be reduced to 26 dollars by the end of the first year. At five dollars per month, the balance will be gone before the first year is up. Getting full value is just one of many reasons to remember to use your gift cards as soon as possible.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      You’re so right Colleen, it’s important when giving or receiving cards to be mindful of the card details. Any of the gift cards we give never expire nor are charged fees. The card we received for price-matching expires in 1 year. This information will typically be printed on your gift card, either boldly on front or in the small print on back. Check those cards and make sure to use ’em all! ~TMH~

      Reply

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