But be sure to check that sites selling the cards verify balances.
Is there a way to squeeze even more out of pre-owned gift cards?
Yes, by pairing them with store sales and print-out coupons or online coupon codes. Secondhand gift cards are a growing market and are available from sites including PlasticJungle.com, GiftCardsAgain.com and even eBay. Discounts can be as high as 30%, depending on the popularity of the store. But if you stack them on top of other deals a retailer may be offering, you get an extra layer of savings.
A few caveats:
Riders find some glitches, but cyclists are happy to see the result of years of lobbying.
Responding to public demand, Google Maps has released a new feature: directions on how to get from one place to another via bicycle.
“With this launch, we’re showing our commitment to providing maps for people, not just cars. We’re really proud to be a part of this growing movement in helping to build greener and more sustainable communities,’’ Peter Birch, project manager for Google Earth, told the National Bike Summit, according to Jonathan Maus at Bike Portland.
Jobless Californian lost his home to foreclosure. Now he lives in hotels, thanks to rewards from his frequent corporate travel.
A lingering benefit of his former well-paid and well-traveled corporate life is keeping a roof over the head of Jim Kennedy, who is now jobless, bankrupt and foreclosed on. He’s using his rewards from airline loyalty programs and hotel points to move from hotel to hotel.
And Kennedy knows how to work those points, says an amazing story in The Orange County Register.
Payday loan stores are doing very well, and their customer base is expanding.
Several Texas mayors are battling a foe that the Lone Star State's legislature doesn’t have the will (or guts) to face: payday lenders. One city has put a moratorium on new payday loan stores. Others are trying to control their spread with zoning laws.
The effort is described in one of a series of articles at DailyFinance about the expanding payday loan industry. What’s most amazing about the story is that payday lenders are able to flourish -- and charge astronomical annual rates of 400% or more -- in a state that has tough limits on interest rates.
Bundle: Find out where your neighbors spend their dining dollars.
For many, an empty restaurant is a suspicious restaurant. If it were good, the logic goes, people would be there. Eating. If it's desolate, there must be a reason. A critic's review has nothing on the reassurance delivered by a happily crowded dining room. So, where are the crowds?
Apple's device is available for orders Friday. How to weigh early adoption.
Owning a cutting-edge gadget has a certain cool factor, but early adopters rarely get a great deal. Some observers say Apple’s new iPad, available to pre-order Friday for an April 3 release, isn’t likely to be an exception -- though there will probably be no shortage of shoppers wanting to go first.
Make a pre-emptive strike against being invited to another Tupperware/Princess House/etc. party.
Awhile back, I wrote about the dangers of selling to friends and family. Recently, a reader wrote to me about wanting to make a “pre-emptive strike” against these kinds of sales pitches, but didn’t know how to go about it.
Please feel free to copy and paste the following e-mail, edit it as you please, and send it to your friends. Trust me, almost all of them will thank you.
How is a time-share like a marriage? They're both easier to get into than out of.
I’ve never owned a new car because I can’t stand the thought of buying something that’s going to drop in value by thousands of dollars the instant I own it.
But from what I learned while researching this story, buying a new car could be a smart purchase compared with a time-share. Why? Because time-shares can depreciate even faster.
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