|Posted:||January 12, 2015 09:43 AM|
|From:||Representative Neal P. Goodman|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Gift Card Legislation|
|I will be introducing legislation that will protect consumers who purchase gift cards in Pennsylvania from expiration dates and inactivity fees imposed by some retailers. Without these protections, many stores, and national chains in particular, will continue to impose inactivity fees and expiration dates that over time deplete the value of gift cards.
This will be a companion bill to legislation being introduced by Senator Rob Teplitz.
According to the National Retail Federation, 80% of shoppers buy gift cards during the holiday season, spending an average of over $45 per card. More than $110 billion worth of gift cards were sold nationwide last year.
The federal Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (the CARD Act) provides consumers with some gift card protections, including limits on expiration dates and fees. Money on store and bank issued cards cannot expire before 5 years from the date of purchase or when money was last loaded onto the card. Inactivity fees are prohibited unless the card is not used for 12 months. 38 states have enacted additional protections beyond the CARD Act, with most eliminating expiration dates and inactivity fees altogether.
My legislation would prohibit as an unfair method of competition under the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law of 1976 selling gift cards or gift certificates that contain an expiration date or any type of post-sale fee such as service charges, dormancy fees, or activation fees.
Please join me in protecting Pennsylvania shoppers by prohibiting both expiration dates and inactivity fees for gift cards.
Introduced as HB385