NORFOLK-- Consumer watchdog group gives us something to think about when picking out gift cards.

Beware of fees attached to general purpose cards from companies like Visa and Master Card. What a consumer thinks is a $20 value may actually be several dollars less.

'It could be an activation fee. It could be a fee because you haven't used it in awhile- an inactivity fee,' says CardHub senior analyst, John Kiernan.

Kiernan says cards tied to a particular retailer may have more value andadds that consumers should consider getting their gift cards from the gift card exchange online.

'It's not that you're getting bottom of the barrel stores. Every major retailer has gift cards available on these gift card exchanges.'

The exchanges allow a person to get rid of unwanted gift cards for cash, exchange them or buy a gift card at a discounted price.

For example, on the Plastic Jungle exchange, they show a $250 JCPenney card selling for $175. On the CardHub exchange, a Best Buy gift card worth $20 is selling for $10.

Click here to 'See The 8 things You should Know About Gift Cards.'

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