Ever get a gift card that lost its value? One day, it promised you $50 or $100, then when you went to use it, the card had been drained.
Maybe there were unexpected fees. Some cards charge you if you don’t use them in a certain period. Others expire.
Maybe the store went belly up. Your cash money went to pay their creditors and you got nothing.
If the card was a “rewards” card purchased with credit card, airline, or other “points” — well then, all bets are off. The card could have been loaded with fees and expire at any time.
This holiday season, lawmakers are working on a bill to eliminate fees and expiration dates. Money doesn’t expire. Neither should money stored on a gift card.
The bill would also require companies to treat cards purchased with rewards points the same as cards purchased with cash.
But this bill isn’t a slam dunk. Retailers and banks benefit when you give them cash but then they don’t have to honor that cash amount in goods or services. To pass this bill, in the face of opposition from industry, lawmakers need the stories of real people.
Share your story, or forward this email to a friend, co-worker or family member who may have gotten less than their money’s worth from a gift card.
Pam Banks, DefendYourDollars.org
A project of Consumers Union