The Most Authentic Guide on Personal Finance and Investments

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Is your Gift a Junk?

Open your store-room and a number of unopened boxes would tumble upon you. These are the anniversary, birthday and similar such gifts you received over the years from your relatives / friends. But many of them landed straight into your junkyard. Reasons? There were too many clocks, too many casseroles, too many bowls; it didn't suit the decor of your house; the colour / design didn't match your tastes, etc.

Are your gifts too meeting the same fate? Are you too filling up other peoples' store-rooms?

If yes... I guess its time to shift... to Gift Cards. 

And here's what you should know about these Gift Cards.

Gift Cards are pre-paid cards that work quite like your debit card. They can be swiped at the offline stores and also accepted for many online purchases. 

> There are typically two types:
    - those issued by banks (in association with Visa, Mastercard, etc.) and redeemable across multitude of merchant establishments, malls, etc. 
    - those issued by merchant establishments, malls, vendors etc. and normally redeemable at specific stores only.

> You can buy a Pre-paid Gift Card for amounts varying from Rs.500 up to a maximum limit of Rs.50,000.

> Card issued by banks are normally valid for One Year. However, some of those issued by the malls / stores may have shorter validity periods. 

> A nominal fee of around Rs.100-300 may be charged by banks when issuing such cards. Store-specific cards generally come for free. 

> Reloading of such Gift Cards is NOT permitted.

> Cash withdrawal too is NOT permitted against these prepaid gift instruments.

> Full KYC is mandatory when buying such prepaid instruments from banks (except where the payment is made by debiting the person's fully KYC compliant bank account). Store-specific cards, however, are generally available with nil / minimal paperwork.

> Since you cannot withdraw cash, RBI has mandated that the issuing companies must inform the customers at least 30 days prior to the expiry of the card, so as to enable them to utilize the same fully.

By the way, Gift Cards would also save lots of hassles that you normally face, time and again, in deciding the most appropriate gift.

The cards may be plastic, but your love and care isn't. So go ahead and make the most of your gifts.

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