Where Unclaimed Gift Card Money Ends Up Informative - Unclaimed Gift Card Funds

Review by GothicSmurf on 2007-12-21
An interesting article informing that some states are trying to get 60% of unclaimed/unused gift card funds. They are trying to get it to go back to the consumer, NOT the retailer.

Comments:8 Replies - Latest reply on 2007-12-22
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-21:
For years retailers have counted on the "breakage" with gift cards as free money. (VH post and link)
Posted by MRM on 2007-12-21:
Whenever I use my giftcard, I go past the card limit and pay the rest of the total purchase via cash.
Posted by Principissa on 2007-12-21:
I do the same as MRM. There's no point in keeping a gift card with pocket change left on it. And that's what the stores count on it seems.
Posted by FoggyOne on 2007-12-21:
Plus the outrageous fees to buy one.
Posted by Arlene on 2007-12-21:
Our son always send us a card for $50...usually to Wal-Mart and we pick out either something for the home or we split it and go just over the amount...then we can just throw the card away if we don't want it once its used up.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-21:
Very interesting article. I have found myself guilty of spending 18.39 on a $20 gift card, and, never thought twice about it before.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-12-21:
Until fairly recently, they were legally bound to turn the money over to the state as abandoned property, the same way that banks have to escheat funds on abandoned accounts after three years. They found a way to get around this by attaching a recurring charge on any balance that remains after 6 (I think) months. They begin hitting the balance for $3/month until it is gone. This is generally well before the escheatment period.
They claim this is to offset the expensive of maintaining the card. As if they were sending statements or something. It is pure BS, and hopefully will be made illegal soon. The store sell these cards gleefully because they know a substantail portion of the sales will never be claimed and is 100% profit to them.
Anyone wanting to send a gift of this nature should consider an American Express Gift Check. They cost the same, or less, and the unused portion gets given back as cash.
Posted by S. on 2007-12-22:
Maine isn't the only state going after the issuers of gift cards. In the 'mitten,' our do-nothing legislature in Lansing is trying to force issuers to place no expiration dates nor charge inactivity fees on these cards. But, that just goes against what our state does: After five years, that money is put into a nice cushy 'fund,' which is used for something only the powers that be know. I don't know the exact amount, but I've read the fund is in the millions of dollars. They probably use the money to pay for politicians' junkets to China, Germany, etc., under the guise of 'bringing jobs to MI.'

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