Did you know that gift cards may have expiration dates or fees, including monthly maintenance fees and inactivity fees, that are deducted from the card's value? See the FTC Consumer Alert on Buying, Giving, and Using Gift Cards, which has tips on buying gift cards, using gift cards, and what to do if you have a complaint.
For more information:
- shlep: the Self-Help Law ExPress, more on avoiding gifting headaches;
- The Motley Fool, Gift Cards Exposed by Elizabeth Brokamp;
- Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information publications; and
- Nolo's Legal Companion on consumer rights, including Is it legal for gift certificates to expire?
The Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act requires that gift certificates and gift cards subject to a fee or an expiration date "must contain a statement clearly and conspicuously printed on the . . . front or back of the gift certificate in a location where it is visible to any purchaser prior to the purchase." 815 ILCS 505/2QQ.
The Illinois Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act treats certain gift certificates and gift cards that contain "language indicating there is an expiration date, expiration period or language indicating that there is any type of post-sale charge or fee" as abandoned property, which must be reported and remitted to the State Treasurer. 765 ILCS 1025/10.6.