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May 17, 2006

Mall Cards — Gift Cards Gone Wild


Constant readers will know of my disdain for Gift Cards, with their limited function and built-in loss of value/expiration dates.

Now comes the Mall Card, "Only spendable at stores in your mall."

They really must think Americans are fools.

Because what other sort of person would pay actual cash money for a piece of plastic that served as money only in stores in one particular shopping mall?

And that loses value automatically as time goes by?

Here's the next step in this progression: it's called cash.


You give someone a piece of paper with a dead white guy's picture on it and you can spend it anywhere, anytime, without losing one single cent from the built-in declared value.

Sweet, eh?

Get yours anywhere cash is accepted.

What a crock.

As soon as you get over the idea that money is dirty or bad you throw off your need to pretend a Gift Card or Mall Card is anything but and you're free forever.

May 17, 2006 at 10:01 AM | Permalink


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I am impossible to buy for, so panicking relatives often get me gift certificates, rather than something that I utterly don't want.

Since a gift certificate registers for me as a personal insult ("Hey! I'm so stupid that I think you're this stupid, too!"), rather than just a neutral item I can discard as soon as I get home, this is not a wise choice on their part.

That's it. I'm telling them all to get me Lego from now on.

Posted by: Daniel Rutter | May 30, 2006 6:10:29 PM

Interesting idea to shift from gifts to support. We do have food stamps which are commodity, rather than store, specific. Perhaps construction stamps would be useful.

Posted by: lem | May 19, 2006 5:09:40 PM

I thought that after Hur. Katrina, they should have let all the people back in as soon as the water went down and gave them a $200 gift card to lowes or home depot or ace hardware each week. and a $50 gift card to a grocery store each week and let them rebuild their own house and homes. Screw the permits. that would have been the only value for gift cards.

Posted by: faraway10 | May 17, 2006 9:45:22 PM

I am heartened to know that there is someone else sane enough to see what is wrong with gift cards.

Posted by: lem | May 17, 2006 6:04:15 PM

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