Cards, not cash, for Mom

  • Share
Mother's Day

Mother's Day

Cash is crass.

Clearly, that's the perception since gift card spending for Mother's Day is up again this year.

Apparently, the I-can't-think-of-anything-to-buy-my-mom crowd, or 43 percent of those purchasing a Mother's Day gift, will fork over $2.1 billion on plastic presents for the holiday, says a National Retail Federation survey.

Use some imagination and give her money instead.

Good old greenbacks minted by the U.S. Treasury, the most prized currency in the world, is good for all debts, public and private.

Yet, the masses insist on purchasing plastic that Mom may lose or never redeem because she tucks it in a drawer or wallet and then forgets to use it.

Last year, more than $1 billion in gift cards went unredeemed, says a TowerGroup tracking report.

Slip a crisp C note into her Mother's Day card and chances are excellent she'll use it, not lose it.

It's versatile, too, since it's accepted everywhere Mother shops.

Visa and Mastercard gift cards are the most popular, projected to add up to $48 billion in sales this year, says TowerGroup.

But you have to pay activation fees and after a year, monthly dormancy fees eat away at balances.

No fees with cash. It's not that crass.

Procrastinators who need a present and still insist on going the gift-card route can save $10 on Visa gift cards at Publix with a $50 grocery purchase and a coupon in this week's circular. There is a $4.95 activation fee, but you'll still pocket more than $5.

Other bonus offers:

Smokey Bones has a special $15 three-course Mother's Day menu. Moms get a buy-one-get-one free entree coupon to use on her next visit.

At Boston Market, Moms get a free meal when you buy one.

Starbucks and Teavana shops are giving Mothers a free Oprah Chai Tea Latte when you buy one today. No coupons are necessary.

No matter if those cards are paper or plastic, I hope all Moms cash in on a happy Mother's Day.

What's your deal? Email it to

More for Mom
Find a long list of Mother's Day freebies at

  • Share
Baltimore's top properties for July [Pictures]

Baltimore's top properties for July [Pictures]

Find out where Baltimore's most expensive homes on the market are and how much they are worth. Here's a list of most pricey new properties...

New cars for 2015

New cars for 2015

Dealers are cutting prices on 2014 models to make room for 2015 models, many of which go on sale this summer. Here's a look at redesigned or...

Nielsen names 14 breakthrough consumer products

14 breakthrough consumer products

Here is market research company Nielsen's list of 14 breakthrough consumer innovation products, based on products introduced in 2012 that...

Which stores have recently opened or closed in the Baltimore region?

Which stores have recently opened or closed in Baltimore?

Keep up with the latest news about store openings and closings in the Baltimore area.