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Guess What the Most Requested Holiday Gift Is…

November 12, 2010

GIFT CARDS!

People want Gift Cards – 57.0%, Clothing – 48.2%, Books – 47.3% and Jewelry – 23.0% for presents this holiday season according to the National Retail Federation. I often gave Gift Cards to employees for their birthdays and part of their Holiday gifts. I recall a time I was at a tax conference with one of my employees and he wanted to take me out for dinner one night and when he went to pay for the meal he had used an old gift card that I had given him the Christmas before and … it had expired! Who knew at the time that those would be issues. Gift Card Rack

But now since “The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act (CARD Act)” is in effect since last year there are new restrictions on gift cards that are designed to make them more consumer friendly. Under the CARD Act:

  • Gift cards sold after Aug 22, 2010 can’t expire in less than five years.
  • The Act also bars issuers from charging an inactivity fee unless the card has been dormant for at least 12 months.
  • Issuers are also barred from charging a fee to replace a lost or stolen card.
  • The CARD Act mandates that all gift card issuers must provide specific information on the back of their cards, including fees, expiration dates and a toll-free number. Congress did agree to extend the disclosure deadline until Jan 31, 2011 for gift cards produced before April 1, 2010.

I feel better with the CARD Act as the next time and employee takes me out to dinner and uses a gift card I may have given them, I won’t wonder if I’ll end up paying… Give us a call at 212-979-6830 or stop by for a visit. At GAI (www.gunwel.com) we are prepared to help you with all of your financial issues. See you soon!

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