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Gift Card Update


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Photo: David Croxford

When it comes to gift cards, Hawaii has always been fairly pro-consumer, requiring that expiration dates be at least two years away, and, if not specified, valid forever. Not all states required such leniency from retailers. As of August, however, the Federal Reserve enacted national gift-card regulations. Gift cards cannot expire sooner than five years after they are bought or money was last loaded onto the card. Inactivity fees can only start to be charged if the card hasn’t been used in a year, and only one such fee can be charged per month.

Once viewed as impersonal, gift cards are now a $90-billion per year economy, according to Entrepreneur magazine. If you receive a gift card for the holidays, don’t wait too long to use it. Research shows that the longer you wait to redeem your card for a massage, etc., the less likely you are to ever use it.

 

 

 

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