It’s a gift for sure… to Mastercard. The giver is paying them an extra $4 fee just for a piece of plastic, when really Mastercard is getting free extra money to make interest on with no definite payback date.
And because its such a hassle for them to keep owing you money, if you don’t use the money they owe you in time, they deduct from what they owe to you. Just imagine this: you take out a mortgage on a house, and because you don’t pay the bank on time, you tell them they have to pay them less. Well, thats the difference between little old you (and me) and these big private corporations that have vast amount of power, to screw you, and pay magicians to make you so dumb that you don’t see the trick.
These type of giftcards are pointless for the vast majority of people they go to. They lack the ability to “force” a person who receives them to go to a certain store, unlike store-specific cards; in this way you aren’t supporting a local store or anything local at all for that matter. You might as well give $28.95 plus tax in cash instead of $25 in plastic. Unless, of course, but it isn’t marketed this way, it is going to those under the age of 18 who want to buy stuff online but don’t have the access to their parent’s credit cards.
Wake up people! This is a scam to take more money from you than they should ever dream of deserving, and it shows how stupid you are as the giver.