With the holiday season right around the corner, you may be thinking about getting a jump on your shopping. So, is giving someone a gift card a good choice? Consumer Reports says maybe not - you may be giving the recipient more than you realize.

Sure, gift cards are an easy choice, especially last minute, but according to Consumer Reports, it's better to give cash rather than gift cards because gift cards often times come loaded with all kinds of things you may not be aware of - like hidden fees.

What many consumers don't realize is if you don't use the gift card within a certain amount of time, the company may start to deduct money off the card. What's more, a gift card can be easily misplaced, whereas chances are you're not going to forget cash.

The key to making sure everyone on your gift list has a happy holiday season - read the fine print before you buy any gift card or prepaid credit card - better safe than sorry.

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