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Gift cards - billion $$$ business or scam
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This is a report by Consumer Reports. Each year, businesses rake in billions $$$ from unused gift cards.

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Unused gift cards are the new billion-dollar business. According to our survey, the second-most-popular gift for 2006, favored by 60 percent of shoppers, is gift cards. (Clothing came in first at 73 percent.) While gift cards seem like a fail-proof present, they may be as useful as an animatronic singing trophy fish. About 23.3 million Americans have unused gift cards from last year's holidays--that's at least $972 million in unredeemed cards. Indeed, 54 percent of respondents received gift cards for the 2005 holidays. Nearly a year later, 19 percent of the gift-card recipients have not used one or more of the cards received.


If you have one, make sure get your money's worth. In Minnesota, the law makers are trying to force businesses honor the gift cards without devalue them with expiration date or other gimmicks.


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