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Backing Up … Your Gift Cards

A store gift card from The Gap

Photo by Neff Conner

Maybe you got a store gift card at Christmas, or you returned some merchandise to the store and got a card with store credit.

Cards with store credit are great in lots of ways, but one of their downsides is that — unless you have a good place in your house to store them (or you want to carry them in your wallet all the time) — you can lose them without too much trouble. Many stores let you use the card to shop online, though, so as long as you have the number, you can still use the card.

So if you got a store’s gift card for Christmas, take a digital photo of the back of it, so you have a backup record of the number. (If the card has one of those scratch-off areas to get the PIN / security number, go ahead and scratch that off before you take the photo!)

It’s also not a bad idea to read the fine print on the card and make sure that if it has an “expiration date” that you add a reminder on your calendar so you can use it in time.

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