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  1. #1
    angliholic's Avatar
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    Smile gift cards/certificates

    In 2006, the most popular gifts Americans gave each other were gift cards/certificates.


    Are gift cards and gift certificates all but identical? What are they? Thanks.

  2. #2
    oregeezer is offline Member
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    They can be used to buy whatever YOU want! I think that is why they are so popular.
    They are mostly ONLY good at the store that sells them like Wal-mart gift cards would be sold by Wal-mart and can only be used to buy things from Wal-mart. Cards are plastic; certificates are paper.

  3. #3
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Quote Originally Posted by angliholic View Post
    In 2006, the most popular gifts Americans gave each other were gift cards/certificates.


    Are gift cards and gift certificates all but identical? What are they? Thanks.
    As pointed out

    Gift Cards are plastic cards very much like credit cards. Very popular but also tricky since there is an expiry date where the value of the card is zero after a certain date. So if you don't spend the money represented in the card by a certain time (in the fine print on the back of the card - usually one year...sometimes less!!) you lose the money.

    Gift Certificates are similar in that they represent purchasing power with a certain store. There is an expiry date on these as well but usually these are clearly stated. I think it is more difficult to only part of a gift certificate. Depending on the store, they may require the complete use of the certificate or perhaps they will reimburse the buyer for the balance of the certificate...though that is unlikely.

    Gift cards do not have this problem. Like a debit card you use them until there is no value left.

    Stores like them since they get their money immediately, then hope the recipient don't claim the value of the cards/certificates. Also they know that someone using this card will probably spend more money than the card/certificate is worth in order to get the item they want!

    When I give a monetary gift, I give the "universal" gift card...cash!!

    It has no expiry date, it can be spent at any store and there are no hassles.
    Why give the money to a store beforehand?

    Perhaps your recipient of the gift card/certificate has no use for the products at that store or hates to shop there! Giving them money allows them to collect the money from other cash gifts and pool it together to purchase something they really want, from a store that they like to deal with. They would not be able to do that if they received a variety of gift cards.

    I think gift cards/certificates are a triumph of marketing...to the detriment of their receivers. Cash rules!!!
    Last edited by Naamplao; 14-Dec-2007 at 20:34.

  4. #4
    Amigos4's Avatar
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Quote Originally Posted by Naamplao View Post
    As pointed out

    Gift Cards are plastic cards very much like credit cards. Very popular but also tricky since there is an expiry date where the value of the card is zero after a certain date. So if you don't spend the money represented in the card by a certain time (in the fine print on the back of the card - usually one year...sometimes less!!) you lose the money.

    Gift Certificates are similar in that they represent purchasing power with a certain store. There is an expiry date on these as well but usually these are clearly stated. I think it is more difficult to only part of a gift certificate. Depending on the store, they may require the complete use of the certificate or perhaps they will reimburse the buyer for the balance of the certificate...though that is unlikely.

    Gift cards do not have this problem. Like a debit card you use them until there is no value left.

    Stores like them since they get their money immediately, then hope the recipient don't claim the value of the cards/certificates. Also they know that someone using this card will probably spend more money than the card/certificate is worth in order to get the item they want!

    When I give a monetary gift, I give the "universal" gift card...cash!!

    It has no expiry date, it can be spent at any store and there are no hassles.
    Why give the money to a store beforehand?

    Perhaps your recipient of the gift card/certificate has no use for the products at that store or hates to shop there! Giving them money allows them to collect the money from other cash gifts and pool it together to purchase something they really want, from a store that they like to deal with. They would not be able to do that if they received a variety of gift cards.

    I think gift cards/certificates are a triumph of marketing...to the detriment of their receivers. Cash rules!!!
    Cheers, Naamplao!

    Is 'expiry date' common usage in Canada? I have never heard the term used before I read an earlier posting today in this forum. Funny how neighbors can be so close yet be so far apart in use of vocabulary.

    Cheers,
    Amigos4

  5. #5
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Is 'expiry date' common usage in Canada?
    Common usage in BrE too.

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  6. #6
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Cheers, Naamplao!

    Is 'expiry date' common usage in Canada? I have never heard the term used before I read an earlier posting today in this forum. Funny how neighbors can be so close yet be so far apart in use of vocabulary.

    Cheers,
    Amigos4
    Yes, it is a common usage to my knowledge. Not only in Canada but also in the USA. Google shows 9,000,000 hits which lends credence to this.

    It is a reasonably close second to "expiration date" which has 13,000,000 hits.

    Other similar designations are:

    "Exp date", a short form for expiration or expiry.

    "Best before date" is most commonly used on food products of course since the product can be eaten for a while after this date if it is stored properly but the quality is reduced.

    "termination date" used in contracts and rental agreements.

    "valid through" used mostly on credit cards.

    I think the choice of which term is used depends very much on the amount of space available on the packaging of the commodity with the limited time and the type of commodity it refers to.

  7. #7
    angliholic's Avatar
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Quote Originally Posted by Naamplao View Post
    I think it is more difficult to only part of/divide/separate a gift certificate. Depending on the store, they may require the complete use of the certificate or perhaps they will reimburse/refund/compensate the buyer for the balance of the certificate...though that is unlikely.

    Gift cards do not have this problem. Like a debit card/credit card you use them until there is no value left.


    I think gift cards/certificates are a triumph of marketing...to the detriment/harm/loss of their receivers. Cash rules!!!
    Thanks, my dear friends for your helpful replies.

    To make sure, could I use the words highlighted in blue to convey the same ideas as the one preceding the slashes?

  8. #8
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Hello Angli,

    1. ...to only use part of...

    I would say that "divide" and "separate" don't have quite the same meaning as the original. The former implies e.g. dividing the gift certificate between two purchases at the same time; while the latter doesn't really make sense.

    2. ...reimburse...

    You refund the money, not the buyer, so that wouldn't quite work. "Compensate" on the other hand suggests e.g. a gesture of goodwill, where something has gone wrong; so again, I wouldn't use it.

    3. On a credit card, you accumulate debt; whereas with a gift card, you decrease your credit; so it isn't the same thing.

    4. ...to the detriment of...

    This is a set phrase; whereas "to the harm of" and "to the loss of" aren't quite idiomatic.

    Sorry about that!

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  9. #9
    angliholic's Avatar
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    Hello Angli,

    1. ...to only use part of...

    "Part of" used as a verbal phrase is quite foreign to me. Would you give a few more samples so that I can familiarize myself with it?

    3. On a credit card, you accumulate debt; whereas with a gift card, you decrease your credit; so it isn't the same thing.

    Do you mean that "debit card" is equivalent to "gift card?"

    Best wishes,

    MrP
    Thanks, Mrp.

    Best wishes to you, too.

    And Merry Christmas!

  10. #10
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: gift cards/certificates

    Thanks Mr. P for inserting "use" into my sentence....stupid fingers!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by angliholic View Post

    1. ...to only use part of...

    "Part of" used as a verbal phrase is quite foreign to me. Would you give a few more samples so that I can familiarize myself with it?

    "Part of" is not part of a phrasal verb. It is the object of the verb "use"

    3. On a credit card, you accumulate debt; whereas with a gift card, you decrease your credit; so it isn't the same thing.

    Do you mean that "debit card" is equivalent to "gift card?"

    No, they are not the same.

    A "gift card" is a piece of plastic with a fixed monetary value which lessens as it is used, until it is finally worthless.

    A"debit" card is similar to a credit card except that when this is used the payment is immediately subtracted from your bank account. As long as there is money in your bank account you can make a purchase.

    With a "credit card" you make a purchase, receive a bill a few weeks later and then have a week or so to pay this credit card bill (approximately 4-6 weeks from the date you purchased the items. Any unpaid debt is carried to the next bill and is increased at a huge interest rate (often exceeding 20%).


    ...

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