If you’re like me, you have gift cards from the holidays. If you’re even more like me, you hear a ticking clock every time you look at them. What are the rules? Will the value disappear if I don’t spend it?
True, you could sift through the fine print that came with the card to find out — but you don’t have to. Whether you live in Connecticut or New York, you are protected above and beyond the federal CARD Act.
The federal CARD Act mandates:
- No expiration dates less than five years from the date of purchase
- No inactivity fees before 12 months from the date of purchase
In Connecticut it is illegal for vendors to:
- Have any expiration date
- Charge any inactivity fees
These Connecticut prohibitions take absolute precedence over anything written on the card.
In New York it is illegal for vendors to:
- Have an expiration date less than five years from the date of purchase
- Charge inactivity fees less than 25 months from the date of purchase
So, we can relax a little knowing that no matter where we are in the United States, our gift cards will not expire for at least five years — and that New York does a little better than the federal benchmark, and Connecticut does a lot better. Gift cards are governed by the state they are sold in, so come shop in Connecticut!