If you were gifted a prepaid debit card at any point this year you may want to reconsider throwing them out when you finally decide to de-clutter your wallet, instead save the card even when its balance is spent.
There are some key reasons behind this, of course. Apartment Therapy offers a couple of situations in which the used-up card would be helpful, or even necessary.
First of all, if you end up getting a refund or rebate for your purchase, it may go directly onto the card before you have a chance to ask the merchant to process things otherwise. If the card is gone, so is your refund. That alone should be enough to make you reconsider.
Frequent Lifehacker readers will recognise our staff’s love of boring finances. It’s especially the case when it comes to credit cards. Using the same credit cards for many years improves your credit score by lengthening your history of credit use.Read more
You can also use the empty card as a dummy card for signing up for free trials. Lots of free trials automatically kick in with a monthly or annual charge once your try-out is over. Sure, you can set calendar reminders for yourself to cancel the service, but signing up with an un-chargeable card is good insurance.
So the next time you de-clutter your wallet or purse, save your spent gift cards for a rainy day. It might be the difference between paying for an extra month of that streaming subscription you were supposed to cancel.
This article has been updated since its original publication.
I got a $US50 ($74) Visa gift card this past Christmas, and I spent exactly $US48 ($71) of it on four pairs of new socks (because I am now the kind of adult who wants socks for Christmas).Read more