This OCC's consumer advisory
provides some rules and tips on gift cards. This might be useful with the holidays less than 3 months away. Some new rules should help make sure the gift card recipient doesn't get ripped off. Here are two of them:
Inactivity, dormancy, or service fees that may apply only if there has been no activity on the card for at least one year. By law, only one dormancy, inactivity, or service fee may be imposed in any calendar month.
By law, gift cards issued after August 22, 2010, may not expire for at least five years after purchase. Any money that is added to a gift card may not expire for at least five years after the value is added to the card.
Even though the gift card can't expire until five years after purchase, monthly fees can take effect after only one year. It doesn't take many months before these fees can effectively cause the card to be expired.