MADISON, Wis. (12/18/15)--As the days dwindle before Christmas, stressed shoppers should consider turning to their credit union for a versatile gift choice--general purpose gift cards.
“A general purpose gift card often can be a ‘safer’ route to take for gift-giving in terms of flexibility,” said Michelle Dosher, CUNA consumer engagement program manager. “If you give a gift card to someone for a particular store, you’re tying that person’s hands in terms of what he or she can purchase. By giving a general purpose card, you’re allowing the recipient to pick something out that he or she truly wants or needs.”
U.S. News also gave a hat tip to the general purpose cards--available at many credit unions--for maximum flexibility and choice. “If you want to give someone the most buying options, this type of gift card is easily the best choice,” the article noted. The cards can be used at millions of merchants nationwide wherever the payment network (generally MasterCard or Visa) is accepted.
According to a Bankrate survey, more cards are offering increased security with a PIN option. With consumers’ growing concern of new data breaches, “it makes sense that those marketing gift cards would offer some security features to set their cards apart,” said Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at Bankrate.
He recommended that consumers take advantage of the PIN security when available.