Gift Cards in Massachusetts Informative - Get Cash Back For The Odd Amount Left On A Gift Card.

Review by 15170 on 2008-12-13
MASSACHUSETTS -- A fact little known to Bay Staters: You *can* get cash back for the odd amount left on a gift card.

There are two types of gift cards, reloadable and non-reloadable. If a reloadable card has $5 or less left on the card, you may request to have the balance back in cash, and by state law the store must give you the cash. On a non-reloadable card, if the balance is 10% or less of the original amount, you can get it back.

Attorney General Martha Coakley invites any consumer who is turned away to call her office and let them handle it.

In a recent test, ten out of ten stores/chains failed to follow the regulations. Each got a call from good old Martha.
Comments:2 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-12-14
Posted by Mario The Great on 2008-12-14:
VH comment - In Colorado, there is a law stating that all gift cards sold in Colorado and have not been claimed automatically go to the Colorado Dept. of Treasury where the customer can claim the cash. I think it's great, except....The law applies only to where the company is headquartered. Sooooo, that Sears gift card with 50 bucks left is HQ'ed in Illinois where they don't have to follow our law. Nice.
Posted by S. on 2008-12-14:
MI did something about so-called expired gift cards this past summer. Prior to this, any card not used for (I believe) five years, reverted to the state coffers. Now they can't have an expiration date. How they got the $$ I don't know, but that was the big stink about gift cards. Just prior to Christmas 2007, I bought several Visa cards for gifts. One at $100 I didn't use so put it in my billfold for 'just in case' purposes. I didn't use it until November 2008. Went online and saw the amount on the card was only $92.50. Thought what the ***. Checked the paperwork that came with the card and found it was my own darned fault. Very clearly states that there would be a charge of $7.50 after six months if the card wasn't used. Not very much left on it and I plan to use it up before I get slugged with another $7.50. Don't know if the legislature put anything through about getting balances in cash.

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