some are fine and don't lose value. I just turned in an old $50 one for Office Depot we found in an old envelope in my old desk which came in the 90's and got a replacement card for the exact same value this past month. I'd put it in there maybe 7-8 years ago, thinking I'd use it for printer ink at some time and forgot about it till recently. Office Depot for one does not time devalue their gift cards. Unfortunately they'd changed their card system so mine couldn't be used online nor at the store, needed a new one for the amount which would interface with the newer card system. That may be the case with other cards at other providers. I know we've used old Walmart cards before, sometimes a few years old and not had problems getting full value. That happens because the children would get such a card for birthday from friend or relative but want to buy something elsewhere and we'd switch it out for cash with them. They'd end up in a drawer and when cleaning we'd notice and take them in on regular shopping trip to cash in on purchases. I think they aren't such a bad idea really, safer than sending money through the mail.