Gift Cards and the Credit Card Act of 2009

congressAs we have discussed elsewhere on GetDebit.com, Gift Cards have come under scrutiny over the past few years, particularly with respect to so-called “dormancy fees” or “inactivity fees”.

Here’s some good news for consumers who enjoy giving and receiving gift cards:  the Credit Card Act of 2009 (signed into law by President Obama in May 2009) includes some provisions that get rid of dormancy and inactivity fees. The provisions go into effect on August 21, 2010 (although some card issuers taking steps to comply before that date). Here’s the language from the Credit Card Act of 2009 that applies to gift cards:

Title IV – Gift Cards
Section 401 –
Amends the Electronic Fund Transfer Act to declare unlawful: (1) the imposition of a dormancy fee, an inactivity charge or fee, or a service fee with respect to a gift certificate, store gift card, or general-use prepaid card; and (2) the sale or issuance of a gift certificate, store gift card, or general-use prepaid card that is subject to an expiration date.

There is a great summary of some of the changes in store for the gift card industry at this site that describes some of the Federal Gift Card regulations passed in the Credit Card Act of 2009.

These changes are great news for folks who buy and receive prepaid Gift Cards.

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