10 Things You Need to Know About Gift Cards

Gift card display in a store
Gift card display in a store

According to a recent report from the National Retail Federation, clothing and gift cards are expected to be the most requested items on American wish lists for 2010, and while reindeer sweaters can be easily exchanged, Bankrate.com says there are ten things consumers should know when buying a gift card.

First, there's a difference between gift cards that are store specific, or "closed loop" (think: Barnes & Noble, Starbucks, Macy's), and those that spend like a branded credit card (i.e., American Express, Visa, MasterCard) which are "open loop." Still with me?