This is GREAT information and while I don't get them, I do give them as REWARDS in some cases and having a short shelf-life has been a down-side!!!
The Federal Reserve has made some changes to the time that a gift card has before it expires. Currently the time limit is one year. The new rule is that the card cannot lose value until five years after date the card is paid for. Starting on Aug 22nd service fees, including the ones tacked on for balance inquires and if you wanted to add more money to the card, are limited to one fee per month. Also a full year has to go by before they tack on an inactivity fee (about $2.00 a month). As of now that fee is nowhere to be found on the card so it might come as a surprise and you will have less to spend. BUT starting Jan 31, 2011 the fee amount must be printed on the back of the gift card.
Most gift cards are not redeemed so the merchant makes more money when people realize that the date has come and gone. With the five year rule this should eliminate the waste.
Chris and Patty Clark-
ABR, CRS, GRI, MRE, CNE, SFR
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