Use Your RadioShack And Deb Gift Cards Right Now

Image courtesy of (Phillip Pessar)

Do you have gift cards lingering in your wallet from RadioShack or Deb? If so, put down the device you’re reading this post on and head over to the store right now to spend that card. That’s only slightly hyperbolic, but card holders will need to get to RadioShack before March 5 and to Deb before March 8 to cash in their cards before they’re worthless.

When a retailer declares bankruptcy, they do not have to honor gift cards purchased before the bankruptcy at all. They usually request to be able to do so, and judges usually grant this request. It isn’t just good for consumers in general, but prevents customers from making claims for their unspent gift cards in bankruptcy court.

Holders of Borders gift cards tried to reclaim some of their money in a class action lawsuit, which was dismissed.

Retailers usually accept gift cards for 30 days after the bankruptcy, which is the case with Radio Shack. Deb filed on January 7, and will accept gift cards until March 8. While it’s rare, it is possible to get some money back on your gift card expenditures if a judge sets aside money for that purpose.

Sometimes competitors will let you exchange unredeemed gift cards for a discount: Toys ‘R’ Us, for example, would give holders of K-B Toys gift cards 15% off one item. The reader who contacted us six months after that chain went out of business was out of luck, though, which is why you should hurry to the store to spend your gift cards when you hear that a chain is in trouble.

RadioShack Gifts That Don’t Keep On Giving [Bloomberg News]