Gift Card Laws By State 2020

Gift cards are unique gifts to give anyone for a special occasion. Not only are they the more preferred gift for the receiver, but they are also practical and pose fewer issues than buying an actual gift. Despite this, many laws are surrounding these cards that cannot be ignored. If an individual can educate themselves about these laws, especially in the state they reside, they’ll have no issues with the card after the purchase.

Expiration Dates

Because of the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD), gift cards cannot expire for five years. This rule is a federal law that applies to every state in the country.

Also, the receiver of the gift card must know of any terms and conditions that come with the card. This rule includes any information about the expiration date. However, some states have enforced specific circumstances to this rule that the receiver must follow.

To view the specific laws regarding expiration dates in each state, check out this chart for more information.

Fees

When it comes to fees, each state has different laws regarding the charges someone can have during a transaction. However, some fee laws apply to every state, and those are:

There must be a disclosure of any fees either on the card or on the packaging of the card. If states allow post-sale fees, then these fees cannot apply until after one year of inactivity. There shouldn't be more than one post-sale fee per month.

On the other hand, some states make their versions of laws and legislation about post-sale fees for gift cards. These fees are charged after a purchase has occurred and includes:

  • Maintenance fees
  • Activation fees
  • Transaction fees

Once again, it is required by federal law that these fees are disclosed somewhere with the gift card.

Redemptions

Sometimes when people haven’t used their gift cards entirely, they can cash in the remaining amount. However, this does come with some conditions and rules, especially in different states.

In some states, people can only redeem gift cards once they reach a specific amount. This amount is typically small, like $5-$10, but it could be a more significant amount in other states.

Many states, on the other hand, do not apply this rule to gift cards. They will require individuals to spend all the money on the gift card until it expires. If the person still has a balance once the gift cards expire, then that balance will be turned over to the state:

  • After five years of inactivity
  • After two years of inactivity

This time frame of when the money is turned over to the state solely depends on where a person lives.

Gift Card Laws By State 2020

Source:
State 2020 Pop.
Alabama4,908,620
Alaska734,002
Arizona7,378,490
Arkansas3,039,000
California39,937,500
Colorado5,845,530
Connecticut3,563,080
Delaware982,895
District of Columbia720,687
Florida21,993,000
Georgia10,736,100
Hawaii1,412,690
Idaho1,826,160
Illinois12,659,700
Indiana6,745,350
Iowa3,179,850
Kansas2,910,360
Kentucky4,499,690
Louisiana4,645,180
Maine1,345,790
Maryland6,083,120
Massachusetts6,976,600
Michigan10,045,000
Minnesota5,700,670
Mississippi2,989,260
Missouri6,169,270
Montana1,086,760
Nebraska1,952,570
Nevada3,139,660
New Hampshire1,371,250
New Jersey8,936,570
New Mexico2,096,640
New York19,440,500
North Carolina10,611,900
North Dakota761,723
Ohio11,747,700
Oklahoma3,954,820
Oregon4,301,090
Pennsylvania12,820,900
Rhode Island1,056,160
South Carolina5,210,100
South Dakota903,027
Tennessee6,897,580
Texas29,472,300
Utah3,282,120
Vermont628,061
Virginia8,626,210
Washington7,797,100
West Virginia1,778,070
Wisconsin5,851,750
Wyoming567,025