Yesterday was my youngest brothers birthday. Since he lives across Canada from me I decided to send a gift card with my card to him so he could buy what he wanted and it would less expensive to ship over. I took care of this last week hoping he would get it in time (he did not).
Earlier in the day I had bought a ton of gift cards for a coworker who is getting married this week with the money collected from everyone who works in the pharmacy. There were no extra fees on any of the cards so I figured it was the best way to go.
Staring at the wall of 5 bazillion cards I felt a little overwhelmed and I was also pressed for time. Since he lives in another province I wasn't sure if he had all the stores we have available to him. Since he also has a lot of diet restrictions I couldn't go with a restaurant chain. I figured it was best to just go with a MasterCard or Visa. So I grabbed one and purchased it with my basket of goodies for home.
When I got home I checked over my receipt and was shocked to see a $3.95 activation fee. What? I hadn't paid any activation fees on the cards I had bought before. I checked the packaging on the card and in small writing it said a $3.95 activation fee would be applied. Grrr!! If I hadn't been in such a hurry I probably would have caught it but then again I guess since I'd bought 5 other cards earlier in the day it had never occurred to me to check.
Well the card was not refundable of course and I felt so irritated. I basically paid an extra 17% for nothing. This is what I call a stupid tax because that is how it made me feel.
In the end I still think it was the best option for my brother as I'm not sure what his needs are right now and this gives him the freedom to choose. I'm not usually a gift card giver but in this case it suits the situation. I wont be fooled again though. This has taught me to read the fine print on all gift cards in the future. In case you are wondering the offender was Vanilla MasterCard. At least I know he's going to get something he truly wants for his birthday which is what is most important to me.