Don’t Look a Gift Card in the Mouth: Beware of Liability Under the Electronic Fund Transfers Act

By Robert W. Sparkes, III, Brian M. Forbes and Soyong Cho

Many of us have had a similar experience. We receive a gift card, put it in a “safe” place with other gift cards, and forget it exists. Inevitably, we uncover the gift card and find ourselves asking questions such as: Does this card still have any value? Has it expired? Can it expire? Will I be charged a fee for use (or non-use)? Should I call the 800 number? The experience invariably ends by putting the card aside and promising to deal with it later. But, what really does happen to the value of those cards?

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