The other day I had a $5 gift card to a coffee shop.
Now, I like coffee and probably drink too much of it. I also stop at coffee shops for meetings.
This particular coffee shop has good coffee, but is just outside of my daily routine so I don’t routinely stop by.
But, it’s not so far off the path that I couldn’t make a more routine stop a habit. Either way, I had this $5 gift card. I figured that I would use it on at least three occasions. (A cup of coffee is a little more than 2 bucks.)
But, the first time I used it the cashier took it and gave me cash back for the remaining balance. Now the bottom of the card did say “Treat like cash” and what do you do when somebody gives you $5 for a $2 product? You give them $3 back, of course.
But it just seems counterproductive here. I haven’t been back to the shop since. My gift card has been used up. (Kind of.)
Another coffee shop – to which I also had a gift card – handled this differently. The card was for $25 and the first time I bought coffee and something to eat for around $4. The cashier just wrote the new total (dated and initialed) on the back.
Of course, that prompted me several times to return to use the rest of the card.