Not all gift cards are redeemed. The card may be lost; there may be time decay (expiration and fees) or complex rules of redemption; the recipient may not be interested in the store that accepts the card or be under the false assumption that not using it will save money for the giver. It has been estimated that perhaps 10% of cards are not redeemed, amounting to a gain for retailers of about $8 billion in the United States in 2006.[5]

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Cards may have a barcode or magnetic strip, which is read by an electronic credit card machine. Many cards have no value until they are sold, at which time the cashier enters the amount which the customer wishes to put on the card. This amount is rarely stored on the card but is instead noted in the store's database, which is crosslinked to the card ID. Gift cards thus are generally not stored-value cards as used in many public transport systems or library photocopiers, where a simplified system (with no network) stores the value only on the card itself. To thwart counterfeiting, the data is encrypted. The magnetic strip is also often placed differently than on credit cards, so they cannot be read or written with standard equipment. Other gift cards may have a set value and need to be activated by calling a specific number.
In 2012, over $100 billion in gift cards will be purchased in the United States, where over 20% of those gift cards will go unredeemed or unused. This has amassed a large opportunity in the secondary market, similar to the secondary ticket market in the early 2000s. Some companies have created a business in the secondary gift card market that allow consumers to sell their unused gift cards or buy discounted gift cards to their favorite brands. This has helped their users recoup their share of some $55 million per day that goes unredeemed in the United States every year, by turning their unused gift cards into cash.
Gift cards are credit card sized plastic cards that have a stored value of money pre-loaded on to them. There are two main types of gift card; single branded gift cards can be spent in only one chain of stores and multi retail gift cards can be spent in multiple participating stores. Some gift cards can also be redeemed online using a code printed on the card. Gift cards are a popular gift in the UK due to the ease of use and the choice they give to the user.
Gift cards are divided into "open loop" or "network" cards and "closed loop" cards. The former are issued by banks or credit card companies and can be redeemed by different establishments, the latter by a specific store or restaurant and can be only redeemed by the issuing provider. The latter, however, tend to have fewer problems with card value decay and fees.[8] In either case the giver would buy the gift card (and may have to pay an additional purchase or activation fee), and the recipient of the card would use the value of the card at a later transaction. A third form is the "hybrid closed loop" card where the issuer has bundled a number of closed loop cards; an example is free gift cards for a specific mall.
Tax Credits. Nine out of 10 families with children are entitled to tax credits, according to HMRC, but around 1.4 million fail to claim each year. The rules are complex, but to sum up, there are two types: Working Tax Credit (worth up to £1,960, plus £2,010 a year to couples and lone parents) and the Child Tax Credit. The Child Tax Credit Rules changed in 2017 and up to £2,078 for your first two children. You'll only get benefit for more children if exceptions apply. You'll only be eligible for the additional £545 family credit if one of your children was born before 6 April 2017. Check whether you qualify.
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