Gift Card Fees

Physician's Money Digest, March15 2004, Volume 11, Issue 5

Good news:

Tip:

If you receive a gift card, don't stick itin your sock drawer—use it. That's theword from several consumer advocateswho point out that maintenance fees ongift cards are fast becoming a sweet dealfor retailers. In addition to profits fromthe 40% of the cash stored on gift cardsthat is never spent, some retailers areadding fees of up to $2.50 a month oncards that aren't used up in a certain timeperiod, which can be as short as 6months. The US Congressand several states are jumping into thefray with proposals that limit fees, imposea minimum time period before a fee canbe charged, or both. Some retailers, likeStarbucks and Circuit City, have alreadystopped charging fees. Check on thegift card fee policy with the company thatissued the card.