Gift cards with just a few bucks left on them are nagging annoyances. Oregon’s state house is fed up with the glorified plastic coupons and passed a bill that would require businesses to let customers exchange them for cash.
Delta Airlines gave Treat a $400 voucher when it bumped him from a flight, but it turned out to be something of a trick. When he used $345 of that to buy another flight, Delta’s computer system wouldn’t let him access that final $55.
If you participate in an automatic savings program like Bank of America‘s Keep the Change service, where debit card purchases are rounded up and the difference is deposited into your savings account, keep an eye on maintenance fees. James says he was hit with a $5 charge last month because he hadn’t met the minimum monthly deposit requirement of $25: “It turns out that I wasn’t even accruing $5 worth of change per month, so I was losing more money due to the maintenance fee than I was saving via Keep the Change!”
What do you think of Bank of America’s “Keep The Change” program? How it works is every purchase you make with your BoA debit card you make gets rounded up to the next dollar. The difference between that and the actual price gets moved from your checking to your savings account. The idea is to help people save. Good idea, but there’s some potential downsides I can see: