Holiday Gift Cards May Have Some Potential Drawbacks

ABC News' Gio Benitez investigates some of the ins and outs of the convenient last-minute gift.
2:27 | 12/22/14

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Transcript for Holiday Gift Cards May Have Some Potential Drawbacks
cards. So convenient. But they do have drawbacks, including fees, that could chip away at their value. Gio Benitez is here with more. Reporter: This will make your jaw drop. More than $44 million in gift cards have gone totally unspent in the last six years. Just one of the fact this is morning as "Gma" goes "On the lookout." Waited until the last minute physical for the holiday shopping? You may be tempted by gift cards. An estimated $32 billion in gift cards are being bought right now. The average person, spending 174 bucks on these plastic gifts. This morning, what you might not know is these gifts could cost you and the person you're giving it to. Gift cards have all of the is dod a sanction of money and none of the advantages. Reporter: The thing not on your list wish? Purchase fees. Paying money for money. Gift cards affiliated with credit card companies instead of stores have an up-front fee just to buy it. The people are in business to make money. Reporter: Next, dor Nancy sees on some of those cards. If the recipient doesn't use it after a certain amount of time, the fees chip away at the value. A monthly fee for doing nothing except keeping track of the fact that you have this card out there. Reporter: And in many cases no fraud protection. If someone steals the card number, you're out of luck. Add-your-own-value gift cards with a perfect target for thieves. They can drain its value before you even get home. Still, the national retail federation telling ABC news, gift cards are the perfect practical gift. So, here are some big tips. Know your card's fees. Make sure you keep the receipt. When you're buying the gift cards, try going for the ones that are a little hide, not out in the open. Those are less likely to be tampered with if they're hidden. I go for the farthest ones back. He goes for the ones in the back for his 12-year-old sister.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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