Gift cards are a popular Christmas present, but shoppers are warned to read the fine print before buying.
A lot of gift cards carry expiration dates or fees if they aren’t used in a certain period of time. State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald says it’s a good idea to ask about those terms beforehand. For several years now, Fitzgerald has asked state lawmakers to ban the use expiration dates or fees on gift cards in Iowa.
"However, the legislature has not agreed with us and so there are fees and expiration dates," Fitzgerald said. "So, we’re warning consumers in Iowa to be aware of that and if you get a gift card, use it right away."
In today’s economy, Fitzgerald warns it’s also a risk to buy from a retailer that’s facing financial trouble. He says if the company goes bankrupt, the gift card will be worthless.