Gift vouchers are very popular gifts to give at any time but how safe is your money.   As much as 55% of the gifts received by adults at Christmas time are in the form of a gift voucher.  How many of these are put away in a drawer and forgotten about until after their expiry date.  Is this a waste of your hard earned money?

There is also the possibility of not getting the chance to spend the voucher due to business closures. I read today in the Irish Independent that a grandfather walked out of a HMV store on Henry Street, Dublin yesterday with games to the value of €46.80 without paying for them.  He had purchased a gift voucher for his grandson as a Christmas gift.  The shop assistant refused to accept the gift voucher for the value of €40 towards the payment for the three games.  He decided to walk out of the shop with the goods as he was not prepared to accept their refusal to honour the gift voucher.  He was quoted to have said “We are a nation of sheep, but I was determined to win this”.  He intends to post the voucher and the balance of money to the HMV store so they will have to take it.  This is in the light of HMV going into receivership.

You can minimise the risk of losing your money on gift vouchers by knowing your rights.  Check out the National Consumer Agency website for advice on purchasing gift vouchers.  You should always check the terms and conditions, expiry date etc. and inform the recipient of these terms.  Purchase the type of vouchers that can be used in a number of retail outlets.  Use any vouchers you receive as quickly as possible.  Although the gift voucher is an easy option as a gift for someone, it is not always the best way to spend your money.