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Office of State Treasurer
Denise L. Nappier
 

 

     Connecticut’s Gift Card Law    

 
Check your gift cards and gift certificates!!! 

Gift cards and gift certificates purchased by shoppers in Connecticut cannot have an expiration date or incur inactivity fees.  A landmark 2003 Connecticut law, initiated and advocated by State Treasurer Denise Nappier and subsequently approved by the state legislature, made Connecticut one of the first states to provide consumers with important protections in the use of gift cards and gift certificates In the past, prior to the Connecticut law, consumers would lose money from the value of gift cards and gift certificates due to monthly fees and other charges, and expiration dates.  Public Act 03-1 (sections 66-84 inclusive) became law on August 16, 2003.

*CONSUMER ADVISORY:  Currently, two Connecticut mall owners, Simon Property Group and The Macerich Company, owners of Crystal Mall, Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets and Danbury Fair Mall, are circumventing state law by having their mall gift cards issued and administered by a federally chartered bank.  A recent federal court ruling has permitted that practice, obviating a federal agency’s published decision that state law prevailed.  Treasurer Nappier and Attorney General Blumenthal have called on Congress to prohibit dormancy fees and expiration dates, including those issued by federally chartered banks. 

Later legislative modifications to the 2003 law, effective October 1, 2005, changed certain aspects of the law.  Public Act 05-189, eliminated the requirement for businesses to turn over (escheat) the unused value of a gift card to the State Treasurer's Office after a period of three years, if there was no owner contact.  Prior to October 1, 2005, businesses were required to turn over any unused value remaining on a gift card, if the owner had not used the card for a three-year period. The unused value would be held in perpetuity by the State Treasurer until the rightful owners were located, consistent with Connecticut unclaimed property law which mandates the State Treasurer to serve as custodian of all unclaimed property due to Connecticut residents.  PA 05-189 exempts gift cards from Connecticut’s unclaimed property law and, as a consequence, removes gift card consumers from the custodial protections of the State Treasurer's Office.

The significant protections provided by the 2003 Connecticut Gift Card Law, which prohibits expiration dates and inactivity fees on gift cards and gift certificates remain in effect.*

If you have any questions regarding gift card or gift certificate transactions in Connecticut, please contact the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection at (860) 713-6050.

     News on Gift Cards in Connecticut     

September 2, 2006
State Aims to Enforce Rules On Gift Cards
September 2, 2006
Malls circumvent laws on gift cards, state officials say
September 2, 2006
State out to close gift card loophole
September 1, 2006
Nappier, Blumenthal Call on Congress to Protect State Ban on Dormancy Fees, Expiration Dates on Gift Cards

Graphic of Connecticut Mall Gift Card Practices

August 2, 2006
Judge: States can't regulate gift cards issued by banks

January 13, 2005
Feds Say States Can Enforce Gift Card Laws