What to watch out for if you’re giving gift cards this holiday season

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Savvy Shopper: Tips To Get The Most Out Of Gift Cards

WASHINGTON (CNN) — Gift cards will once again top holiday wish lists and while it may seem like the simplest of items to give and receive, consumers should be aware of some tips.

They may not seem like the most personal gift, but more than half of Americans say they want gift cards this holiday season, and the National Retail Federation says shoppers will spend more than 31 billion dollars on them. A holiday survey from Card Hub found the most popular gift cards this season will be:

  • the Visa gift card
  • Amazon
  • iTunes
  • American Express
  • Netflix

When choosing a gift card off of a display, check the back of the card and make sure the pin number hasn’t been exposed. The card may be void if this has happened.

A number of resale sites have popped up in recent years, so consumers can trade unwanted gift cards for a more desired option or for cash. Be sure to use only trusted, reputable sites for these transactions and be wary if a deal seems too good to be true.

As consumers get more comfortable with smartphone transactions, digital gift cards are expected to rise in popularity, sent to recipients by email, app, text or social media. CreditCards.com recommends not uploading cards until its time to use them, and keeping your phone locked once the gift is loaded.

For any gift card. check out an issuers’ policy on what happens if that card gets lost, compromised, or stolen.

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