Receiving and using gift cards has become a huge industry. In fact last year readwrite posted an article stating that the gift card industry is now worth over $110 Billion and it continues to confound economists because gift cards are much less valuable and liquid than cash. In fact not only do consumers lose and forget to use gift cards, they also tend to spend more at the retailer (overspend averages 20%), but they also incur the risk that the retailer puts further restrictions on use of the gift card.
One such retailer is Home Depot. I recently painted several rooms in my home and purchased the paint and tools at Home Depot using a few gift cards and store credits that I had accumulated. It felt good to finally get rid of these gift cards, but in the end I still had some funds left. With some birthdays coming up I thought it would be a great idea to combine my remaining gift cards into a $100 card to give as a gift. I placed an order on Home Depot’s website paying with both my gift cards and a credit card for the remaining amount.
After a few days I received an email stating that Home Depot had canceled my order. I thought this was quite odd. Then several days later I received this email from the Home Depot order verifications team stating that Home Depot no longer accepts gift cards and/or store credits to purchase new gift cards.
The email also included this link to the Home Depot gift card FAQ page, which now states that neither gift cards or store credits can be used to purchase Home Depot gift cards.
This seems absolutely ludicrous. If I wanted to give a $50 or $100 gift card to someone, and use an odd amount like $27.11 left on an existing card to purchase the new one, I am not allowed to do so? Didn’t someone fork over cash to purchase this gift card in the first place, and now Home Depot is telling me they won’t accept it? Something just seems incredibly wrong about this.
What Should I Do About Home Depot Not Accepting Store Credits for Gift Card Purchases?
This is just another reason to avoid purchasing and gifting gift cards. Without the government watching out for the consumer against and identifying unfriendly policies that are a blatant attempt for corporations to extract more money from the consumer’s wallet, things like this will only continue. The value of gift cards, which should be treated like cash will continue to deteriorate over time.
The lesson here is to avoid buying gift cards if at all possible. If you are unable to think of a thoughtful gift to someone, then just write them a check or give them cash. American Express, Visa, or Master Card gift cards, which are much more flexible are another good option.