State Treasurer of Iowa

Treasurer Fitzgerald Offers Tips to Protect Your Gift Cards

December 15, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa – During the holiday season gift cards are popular presents to give and receive. State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald wants Iowa consumers to make sure they take full advantage of the gift card. “According to the National Retailers Federation, gift cards are the most requested holiday gift item for nine years running*,” Fitzgerald stated. “Each year, gift cards go unused because the cards are lost or forgotten. Don’t let that happen to you! Whether you give or receive a gift card this holiday season, these tips can help protect the value of the card throughout the year.” 

If you purchase a gift card:
Give the original receipt to the recipient in the event it is needed to replace a lost or stolen gift card.  
Buy gift cards from reputable retailers where you know the recipient will shop. 
Encourage the recipient to use the gift card right away. 

If you receive a gift card:
Use it as soon as possible. Verify if the card has an expiration date or fees that reduce the card’s value over time. 
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. 
“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.”
Consumers with questions or concerns regarding an expired gift card 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

« Back

© 2018 State Treasurer of Iowa. All rights reserved.