Consumers - New Laws 2007
A new law will make it unlawful for a business to sell a gift card that has an expiration date or a service fee of any kind, including for nonuse.
Sponsored by Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) and Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport), supporters said the law is needed because some card expiration dates are so short, and inactivity fees can make a gift card worthless in a matter of months.
The law applies to gift cards sold on or after the Aug. 1, 2007, effective date.
Exempted under the law are:
• those distributed for loyalty or promotional reasons without money given in exchange;
• cards distributed for employee recognition;
• cards sold below face value to employers or nonprofit organizations for fundraisers;
• prepaid calling cards;
• debit cards used to access a debit account; and
• cards issued by federally chartered or state-chartered financial institutions or their affiliates, which can be used at multiple sellers of goods and services provided any expiration date and associated fees are disclosed. These cards are subject to federal regulations.