Consumer First Alert: What to know before you buy gift cards

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - They're the perfect gift for last minute shoppers, but there are some things to know before you buy a gift card.

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A WalletHub survey found gift cards have been the most popular present for the past 13 years.

These companies have the most popular gift cards:


Here's what you should do before you gift a gift card.

Inspect the card. Look it over before you buy it. Make sure the gift card has all the protective stickers in place. If you see something has been scratched off or damaged on the card, report it to the store.

Save the receipt. You'll need it in case there are problems with the card. Give a gift receipt with the gift card.

Buy from a trustworthy source. Think twice about buying gift cards from online auction sites.

Read the fine print. By law, gift cards cannot expire until at least five years after the date of activation.

Watch for fees. Some companies will charge fees if the card isn't used within a certain period of time.

Register your card online. It helps protect you in case the card is lost or stolen.

Gift cards are only for giving. Scammers may try to scare you into paying off a debt by using a gift card. No reputable business or organization will accept a gift card as a form of debt payment.

CLICK HERE for more information on gift cards.