It's wise to use gift cards before you lose them - WFSB 3 Connecticut

It's wise to use gift cards before you lose them

Posted: Updated:
Shoppers with gift cards to stores filing for bankruptcy should use them as soon as possible (WFSB) Shoppers with gift cards to stores filing for bankruptcy should use them as soon as possible (WFSB)
WEST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

If you have a bunch of gift cards laying around your house or in your wallet, you may want to use them soon.

There have been so many chain stores lately either filing for bankruptcy or closing their doors, it can be hard to keep up.

But if you’re holding gift cards to some of them, you may need to use them sooner rather than later, or they will end up in the gift card graveyard.

Aeropostale filed for bankruptcy a few weeks ago and they are closing 113 stores nationwide, including the store in Waterford.

They are still accepting gift cards, but if at some point they stop, you will lose out.

PacSun also filed for bankruptcy in recent weeks and they too are selling and receiving gift cards, but it may be wise to use yours now.

"I have a gift card with like $30 on it, so I'm coming back here to buy my last thing from Sports Authority,” said Michael Cova,

At Sports Authority in West Hartford, Cova was using up his gift card.

The chain is closing all 450 of its stores, including six in Connecticut. Sears and Kmart are also closing stores in Connecticut, including one in Putnam, so it is wise to use the gift cards to those stores as soon as possible.

Some RadioShack stores are still open, but they no longer accept gift cards, but you can still go to oldradioshackgiftcards.com and file a claim by Dec. 2.

"It's disappointing especially if you're not really knowing the stores are going to close and then you’re going to come and it's not useable anymore because the store is shut down, so I guess it's kind of like we have to be more aware of it,” said Julia Lankin of West Hartford.

Shoppers should also be aware of making purchases that will be permanent, as many stores won’t accept returns if they are in the process of closing.

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection said some of the stores in bankruptcy could remain open for years, but you should still use the gift card sooner rather than later.

Copyright 2016 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.