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Earlier Zac wrote about a program to design your own credit card. Coincidently, I'd just run across a similar program for gift cards.

Other bloggers have written about the shortcomings of the gift card. I read recently that 25% of the balance on gift cards goes unclaimed, mostly because they are tied to a specific store. I've found an interesting alternative that helps with that problem.

And makes a nice gift. A new program from Visa, available via GiftCardLab.com, allowed me to create my own Visa gift cards with the photo of my choice. I happened to have a shot of my extended family taken this summer, so I uploaded it to the site and voila!-- gift cards with my family's picture on them. Better yet, I was then able to add each recipient's name on his/her gift card.

The cards don't come cheap, though. Each one cost me $5.95 plus the gift amount I chose to put on them. Delivery is supposed to take 7-10 business days, and I'm counting on to come through. If they do, I expect some squeals of delight around the Christmas tree this year.

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