Answers about Gift Cards
How can I determine what fees may be imposed?
Beginning on August 22, 2010, the following information must be placed on the card itself:
- The amount of any dormancy, inactivity, or service fee that may be charged;
- How often the fee may be charged and that a fee may be assessed for inactivity;
- The expiration date for the underlying funds if they expire or if they do not expire, a note that there is no expiration date;
- A toll free number and if one is maintained, a Web site, that can be used to obtain a replacement card or certificate and fee information.
Information on other fees that may be imposed can be:
- placed on either the card or certificate or
- provided with the card or certificate in the packaging
However, for gift cards that were produced before April 1, 2010, the disclosure rules only go into effect on January 31, 2011, as long as the issuer makes certain other disclosures on in-store signs, messages during customer service calls, Web sites, and general advertising explaining that:
- The funds underlying the gift card do not expire;
- Consumers have the right to receive a free replacement card, along with the packaging and materials that typically accompany the gift card; and
- The issuer will charge dormancy, inactivity, or service fees only if the fee is permitted by the gift card rule.