Gift cards make great gifts, but it’s important to make sure gift givers understand the disclosures that come with the card. Otherwise, they could end up giving retailers the unintended gift of free cash.Gift cards are a type of stored-value card. They look like a credit card; they have a magnetic strip that stores information about how much the card is worth. Some cards can only be used at one retailer or only at stores in a particular mall or shopping center. Others can be used anywhere major credit cards are accepted.The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 makes giving gift cards a better option than was the case before the law. The act established rules to protect consumers from excessive fees charged by some retailers and banks.Money on gift cards is available for at least five years from the date the card is purchased. Value added to a gift card must be good for five years from the date the money was added. If the card expiration date is reached, but there is unspent money on the card from the past five years, a replacement card can be requested at no charge.The law requires clear disclosure of any fees at the time of purchase. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before making your purchase and send them along with the gift card to the recipient. Include the receipt in case the card is lost or stolen.The law restricts maintenance and usage fees. A fee cannot be charged for using the gift card, not using the gift card, card maintenance or adding value to the card unless the card has not been used for more than 12 months.Tips to Keep in MindUnderstand how gift cards work. Choose cards from specific retailers over cards offered by financial institutions. Cards that can be redeemed wherever credit cards are accepted tend to come with more and higher fees.Watch for hidden fees. There may be a charge to check the balance of the gift card, even in the first 12 months, so be sure to keep track of how much is spent. Watch for delayed fees that kick in if the card has not been used for 12 consecutive months.If a gift card is lost or stolen, it may not be replaceable. Some retailers charge a replacement fee, provided there is proof of purchase, such as a sales receipt, and the ID number of the card.Registering received gift cards with the issuer provides extra protections. Information about how to register the card should be included with other card details. If not, check the website of the issuer for information about how to register the gift card. Some issuers will not replace lost or stolen gift cards unless they are registered.Use the card promptly. About 10 percent of gift cards are never redeemed. Unused gift cards are a gift to retailers of more than $9 billion a year.
Zach Blurton led all 20 laps of Saturday’s United Rebel Sprint Series feature at Dawson County Raceway. (Photo by Kelly Ninas)LEXINGTON, Neb. (July 8) – Zach Blurton took the lead at the start and never looked back to claim his second United Rebel Sprint Series victory of the season Sunday at Dawson County Raceway.Tim Fricke and Brian Herbert started on the front row for the 20-lap IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Ca feature but it was the third-starting Blurton who took the lead as the green flag fell.Tyler Drueke passed Herbert for the runner-up position on lap two but could only chase Blurton the rest of the way as the defending tour champion went on to become the first repeat series feature winner on the season.Eleventh starting Shon Pointer worked his way up to a third-place finish while Herbert and 10-starting Stu Snyder rounded out the top five.The Keizer Aluminum Wheels hard charger award went to Coby Pearce as he worked his way up from his 17th starting position to finish eighth.Feature results – 1. Zach Blurton; 2. Tyler Drueke; 3. Shon Pointer; 4. Brian Herbert; 5. Stuart Snyder; 6. Neil Nickolite; 7. Ty Williams; 8. Coby Pearce; 9. Jordan Knight; 10. Shane Sundquist; 11. Aaron Ploussard; 12. Tim Fricke. 13. Darren Berry; 14. Tyler Knight; 15. Nick Nichols. 16. Tom Belsky; 17. Chad Salem; 18. John Webster .
Dear Editor,Please allow me space to respond to former PNCR Executive member B Beniprashad Rayman who made an effort to pose questions in true ‘straw man’ fashion. It is always difficult to reply to fiction with fact as readers are often left at a loss of whom to believe. These are the tactics of the desperate but they must never be allowed to flourish.Rayman begins by positing that the Diamond and LBI estates were closed by President Bharrat Jagdeo. The Diamond factory was closed in 1985 and a large area of the estate’s cultivation was retired. Bharrat Jagdeo was a student at the time. In 2011, a decision was made to close the LBI factory. The decision was taken against the backdrop of the improvement of the Enmore factory and the construction of the packaging plant which yielded a higher price for the sugar produced. Few of the workers were affected by the closure; some were retained at LBI to work in the enlarged workshop that was created, while the others were transferred to work in the Enmore factory and a small number opted for early retirement. In contrast, the actions of the Granger administration are unmatched for their callous nature.In April 2016, the Granger administration closed the LBI Estate which ceased to exist and many workers were shown the door. A few weeks later, Granger announced its closure of the East Demerara Estate and put thousands out of work. Granger has closed four sugar estates and put seven thousand persons out of work. The rationale offered by Granger’s Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan that, “Probably, it was destined that way. Probably God wanted it that way that we have to make the decision now,” who also said that payment of workers’ severances was a “drag” on the economy. David Granger is not done with the sugar industry by any means, GuySuCo remains the country’s single largest employer, going by Ramjattan’s pronouncements, probably nothing but total closure of the sugar industry will satisfy ‘God’.The absolute fiction of the PPP Government closing down the bauxite industry is in direct contrast to the facts; production of bauxite declined rapidly after Burnham nationalised the industry in the 1970s. In the mid-1980s, bauxite production was 1.5 million tonnes per year or half the annual level of the 1960s and 1970s. The state-owned Guyana Mining Enterprise Limited (Guymine) suffered repeated losses as a result of inefficient management, declining world prices for bauxite, and prolonged strikes by workers. The losses drained the company’s capital reserves and led to the deterioration of plants and equipment. Guyana’s single alumina plant, located in Linden, used to separate 300,000 tonnes per year of aluminium oxide from raw bauxite ore until the facility closed in 1982. Interestingly, it was the USD 400 million levies paid by the sugar industry that propped up bauxite and Burnham’s burgeoning Public Service. How soon we forget.In 1992, PPP/C met an arrangement by the Multilateral Financial Institutions (MFIS), which funded and placed MINPROC as manager of the Linden Bauxite Company (LINMINE). MINPROC’s purpose was to determine and demonstrate whether LINMINE could be profitable. MINPROC reported that the there was no pathway to profitable operation; however, the PPP/C did not shut down the industry. They subsidised the industry until OMAI came on board as a managing partner/investor. The PPP brought in both current employers in the bauxite industry, Bosai, and Rusal. The PPP has also enabled large-scale gold mining and timber operations whose employees are primarily from Region 10.Having dispensed with the distracting fictions, I can discuss a matching of performance by Irfaan Ali during his tenure as a Minister and David Granger as President. Irfaan Ali held the important Housing and Water portfolios, he delivered 28,456 new housing units, more than anyone in the history of Guyana, provided transformational leadership in the industry, with his ‘one-stops’ delivering expedited house-lot ownership throughout the country. Irfaan Ali delivered twenty-five new wells and seven treatment plants, moving access to potable water from twenty-five per cent of the population to over fifty per cent. Granger has held one portfolio during his tenure as President: oil and gas, this he assumes reluctantly after widespread criticism and dissatisfaction surfaced about Raphael Trotman’s disastrous engagements with ExxonMobil, namely, the hidden $18 million bonus and the two per cent renegotiation. Granger has not accomplished anything in the O&G sector, and in fact, passed the work of securing the interests of Guyanese through local content legislation to Dr Mark Bynoe, a crony who wrote for Granger’s National Review publication. Bynoe also passed the buck; this work has been delegated to foreigners to the detriment of the local populace. Granger as President cannot match the achievements of Ali as Minister. I will concede that David Granger is unmatched in his incompetence, mismanagement, untrustworthiness, undermining of democracy, lack of vision, lack of leadership and his penchant for pursuit of the trivial.Over the coming months, Irfaan Ali will deliver speeches outlining his vision for Guyana’s future; they will be as detailed as articulate. In the same period, Granger will subject us to the vague ‘good life’ promise he has been making since Noah was a boy. Granger has promised much and delivered very little. Granger deliberately cloaks his incompetence in vagueness. Irfaan Ali’s promises will be made on deliverables, based on sound economic principles and an unmatched performance record.Respectfully,Robin Singh