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Are gift cards ethical?

Seventy-two dollars and sixty-four cents.

That’s how much was on the AMC Theatres gift card my wife found in a grocery store parking lot.

First thought: we scored – let’s go to the movies!

Second thought: I’d sure hate to lose a gift card with $72.46 on it.

What to do?
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Congratulations, you’ve won a free $1,000 gift card – just click here to redeem it!

Viktor/Shutterstock
Viktor/Shutterstock
If you clicked on this story for your “free” gift card, you’ll definitely want to keep reading. I’ve issued plenty of warnings about “free” products and some of you, dear readers, think I’ve gone too far.

After all, aren’t some of the best things in life free?

Perhaps.

But you might also want to consider a tale of two companies — one in South Carolina, the other in California — which allegedly hired affiliate marketers to send millions of spam text messages to consumers around the country.
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Can Capital One really “erase” my debts? And while you’re at it, could you do another rant about loyalty programs?

When Capital One offers to “erase” part of her debts with award points, Kate Morrical calls on a loyalty program skeptic to clear things up. Find out what happens next.

Question: You’ve gone on record plenty of times with your feelings about loyalty programs, so I wondered if you’d seen this ad for Capital One’s “Purchase Eraser.” In it, Alec Baldwin implies that he can “erase” a $700 purchase with 30,000 miles.

But the program overview clearly states that any purchase over $600 is 100 miles per dollar to redeem.
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