Ask, look when buying gift cards as presents

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- The Tennessee Consumer Affairs Division is providing tips for people buying gift cards for the holidays.

Checking dates and asking questions up front can prevent disappointment later.

Consumer specialists say check the expiration date. It's required to be printed plainly on the card.

Ask about restrictions and any fees that might lessen the value the card you're giving someone.

Check on purchase exemptions and ask what to do if the card gets stolen. Also get information for the recipient. Is there a toll-free number if there are problems? A website that spells out how the card can be used?

The holiday shopping period is ramping up and many people buy gift cards as presents because of their convenience.