Gift card popularity continued growing in the United States in 2011. As the holidays approach, we all consider gift cards as a means of festive exchange. There are however, concerns with gift card giving. The government says 95 percent of Americans either purchase or receive them.
Consumers have many questions regarding the fine print of these cards. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 guarantees:
Expiration: Gift cards are not able to expire within 5 years of issue. Still about $5 billion a year goes unused on gift cards. Beginning in January of this past year, the expiration date and any included fees are required to be printed on the back of each card. When your card expires
Dormancy Fees: Beware. If you fail to use your gift card for an entire year, you may be penalized with dormancy fees. These fees usually range from $2-2.50 a month following the inactive period.
Exceptions to this Act:
- Prepaid Cards – long distance, wireless telephone, internet access
- Reloadable Cards – not marketed or labeled as gift cards
- Loyalty, Reward, Promotional Cards
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