Using gift cards when businesses go bankrupt: Your Stories

Local News

Customers holding on to gift cards or Groupons for stores going out of business are scrambling to use them before it’s too late.

Next to using them as fast as you can, there are a few things the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York recommends as it has seen this happening a lot with both small businesses and big brand names.

If you’ve run out of time to use a gift card or a Groupon that you purchased or received — the BBB encourages you to reach out to them and also the New York State Attorney General’s Office. While it may take some time, it is possible to get some money back.

If you’re getting a gift card for someone else, there is some homework you should do before you buy it.

“We’ve seen Toys R Us is closing, Bon Ton is closing,” said Melanie McGovern, the communications director for the BBB of Upstate NY. “There might be gift cards out there, so if you’re going to buy a gift card and know the person might not use it right away — you want to make sure the company is in good financial standing…that they’re going to be around for a while before you spend that money because you might not get it back.”

A few more reminders include checking to see if the gift card is allowed to be used at another business. Also, if you bought a gift card using a credit card, some credit card companies may be able to help you recover money from a business that goes under.

For more information from the BBB, click here.

To contact the NYS AG’s Office, call (800) 771-7755.

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