Tips before using gift cards

Long lines to return unwanted presents could be a thing of the past as shoppers turn more and more to gift cards.

"It TMs easy, it TMs convenient, Lorenzo Garza told Action 4 News.

He works as an assistant manager for JC Penney in Brownsville and said the number of gift card sales are on the rise each year.

According to a recent study, the worth of gift card sales this holiday season could reach nearly $25 billion.

But before gift card holders use their presents, the Federal Trade Commission urged them to keep some tips in mind.

They said card holders should know the terms and conditions of the card, checking for any hidden fees or expiration dates.

In addition, they are asked to keep the purchase receipt in case the card gets lost or damaged.

Just as important, the FTC says they should check the company TMs financial situation to avoid a repeat of last year, when a number of cards were rendered worthless after their companies filed for bankruptcy.