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Why Spring is the Best Time to Use Your Holiday Gift Cards

Leave the spring cleaning for another day because NOW is the best time to redeem the gift cards you received during the holidays. Find out why!

woman shopping outsidevalentine gift cards in a row

Still Holding onto Gift Cards from the Holidays?

For more than a decade, gift cards have been voted the most-requested gift of the holiday season. Last year, gift cards became even more popular as consumers had to contend with supply chain bottlenecks and shipping issues.

Blackhawk Network released a study that said 30% of consumers purchased more gift cards during the 2021 December holidays and 40% of those who purchased gift cards did so because they couldn’t get the gifts they wanted.

That is a long-winded way of saying that you probably have at least one gift card at home (or in your wallet) that still needs to be redeemed. Am I right?

Well get it out because in the blog post below, I’ll share five reasons why spring is the best time to redeem the gift cards you received last season.

Five Reasons to Spend Your Gift Cards in Spring

holding retail therapy gift card on computer

Whether you have one gift card or a handful, here is a list of reasons to redeem your gift cards now.

1. Get the Full Value of Your Gift Cards

The longer you hold onto a gift card, the higher the likelihood you’ll lose it or forget to use it. If you have a bank-issued gift card such as a Visa gift card or a Mastercard gift card, you need to know that “dormancy” fees kick in if the gift card goes unused for over a year. So the most important reason to use your gift cards quickly is simply to make sure you get the full value of the cards. Make a habit of spending holiday gift cards at the change of season so no gift card goes to waste.

If you have a bunch of gift cards, check out my guide: Tidy Up Your Gift Cards!

2. Shop Post-Inventory Sales

For accounting purposes, many retailers count the physical inventory in their stores at least once a year. It’s not unusual to see your favorite store closed for a couple of days in January for this purpose. While some stores discount merchandise before they do the counting–so there are less items to count–others offer deep discounts afterwards to move items that didn’t sell as expected. A great reason to spend your holiday gift cards in the spring is to take advantage of those March and April markdowns.

3. Update Your Spring Wardrobe

After a long winter of wearing boots, sweaters and jeans, the change of season is the perfect time to update the clothes in your closet. If you have a shoe store gift card, look for flip flops and hiking boots for the summer. If you have a department store gift card, you can splurge on a fresh scent, fun hair accessories and more. And if you REALLY want to make your gift card dollars go further, then dig through the last of the discount bins to find great savings on off-season fashions instead. (Last spring, I got an incredible deal on boots that I didn’t wear until the following winter. Worth it!)

4. Spring Cleaning or Home Sprucing

Did you use that Wayfair gift card or Bed Bath and Beyond gift card yet? Got a Cheers to You gift card that hasn’t been redeemed? What about a hardware store gift card? Now is the perfect time to get those cards out and make a plan to use them. Think patio furniture, new pillows, updated frames, a new spring comforter cover, an outdoor fire pit or a new planter box. Consider all the ways you might update your home this season and match those needs with the gift cards you own. I think you’ll be surprised to find that many gift cards are more flexible than you realize.

5. Use Your Gift Cards on Spring Break

Whether you plan a big trip or stay local, spring break is the perfect time to use your travel gift cards and restaurant gift cards. Airline and gas station gift cards, for example, can help you reach your destination for less. Restaurant gift cards can help you save money when you eat out. I even use gift cards to direct our spring break activities. For example, I’ll look for things to do near the restaurant gift card I want to use. Something as simple as going to a new park turns into a spring break adventure when you pair it with redeeming a gift card at a nearby ice cream store.

How to Use the Gift Cards You Don’t Want

This is just the start. There are so many ways to use your gift cards in the spring. But the most important thing to remember is that you have to gather up your gift cards and make a plan to use them. So, I’m challenging you to add “spend gift cards” to your spring cleaning checklist. I promise, this will be the most fun task you do this season.

What are some other ways you have used your gift cards in the spring? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on Twitter (@GCGirlfriend) or on Instagram (@Gift.Card.Girlfriend).

Happy Spring and Happy Gift Carding!

~Shelley Hunter, Gift Card Girlfriend

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