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The Gift That Keeps on Giving: Gift Cards

Gift cards continue to grow in popularity. As usage increases, so have complaints about expiration dates and fees, which can eat into the value of the card. Federal Reserve rules provide important protections when you purchase or use gift cards. These rules cover both store gift cards and gift cards with a MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover brand logo.

Under the new rules:

Money on a gift card cannot expire for at least five years from the date the card was purchased, or from the last date any additional money was loaded onto the card. If the expiration date listed on the card is earlier than these dates, the money can be transferred to a replacement card at no cost.

Inactivity fees can be charged only after a card hasn't been used for at least one year, and you can be charged only once per month. But you may be charged a fee to buy the card or to replace a lost or stolen card.

The expiration date of a card must be clearly disclosed on the card, and fees must be clearly disclosed on the card or its packaging.

It’s always fun to learn something new! At Equitable Apartments in Des Moines, Iowa, we love to provide you with fun, thought-provoking facts that will make you reflect on different aspects of life.

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