State Treasurer of Iowa

Treasurer Fitzgerald Offers Tips for Gift Card Receivers

January 3, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa – The gift card is one of the most popular presents received during the holiday season, which is why State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald wants Iowa consumers to make sure they are able to take full advantage of this great gift. “Some of the gift cards received during the frenzy of gift exchanging will never be redeemed and nobody can afford to let money go to waste,” Fitzgerald said. “These tips can help you protect the value of the gift card throughout the year.” 

If you receive a gift card:
Use it as soon as possible. You won’t have to worry about inactivity fees or expiration dates. 
Save the gift card package and receipt. Having these will make replacing a lost or stolen card much easier. 
Know the balance. Many gift card providers will let you check your balance on their websites. 
Be aware of expiration dates. Be sure to verify if the card has an expiration date. 
Pay attention to inactivity fees. Make sure  if there are fees that they’re clearly disclosed. Inactivity fees may reduce the card’s value overtime. 
“We encourage retailers to honor all of the gift cards they sell, even those that have expired,” Fitzgerald stated. “In doing so, retailers stay on friendly terms with their customers.”
Current state law requires that the expiration date and fees be clearly displayed on any 
gift card with such restrictions. Consumers with questions or concerns regarding an expired gift card that a retailer will not honor are encouraged to contact the State Treasurer’s office. Please provide a copy of the gift card and a brief letter stating the circumstances of the complaint. The information can be sent to the address below or emailed to
Michael L. Fitzgerald
Treasurer of the State of Iowa
Unclaimed Property Reporting Desk
State Capitol, Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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