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Shoppers should read fine print on gift cards

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BATON ROUGE - Buying a gift-card is very appealing to shoppers especially when it gets down to the wire.

But before you buy. Take a moment to make sure of what you're getting into.

1. Look for hidden fees: Some cards take out fees for inactivity, purchases or even monthly maintenance from of the value of the card.

So, if you're not careful-- you could end up losing the money that's intended for you.

2. Check for expiration dates: Many cards begin to expire after it's purchased or first used.

3. Trade your card: If you happen to find yourself with a card that's lost it's value or one you can't use in your area; there are several websites where you can buy, sell or trade cards.

You may not get the full value, but it's better than nothing.

4. Verify your card- As soon as you received your card, register it online with the vendor. If that's not an option, try to keep the receipt. That way if the card is lost or stolen, you can get a new one.

Shoppers are expected to spend more than $27 billion on gift cards this season

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