You can bet a lot of last minute Christmas shoppers today will be selecting the quick and easy purchase…the gift card. Iowa State Treasurer Mike Fitzgerald says gift cards make a great present, but the purchaser should know exactly what they’re buying.
He suggests asking the store if the cards have expiration dates or if they come with fees. "If you don’t use it, some cards charge $2.50 a month, and after a few months your gift card is worthless," Fitzgerald says. He’s urging recipients of gift cards to use them sooner, rather than later. Fitzgerald says around 10 percent of gift cards go unused or are lost to fees.
"It’s a huge amount of money that Iowans are losing out on every year and it’s growing," Fitzgerald says. He’s hoping Iowa lawmakers will follow the lead of other states when it comes to regulating gift cards. Fitzgerald says around 20 states have changed their laws banning expiration dates or fees on gift cards. He’s proposing similar legislation for Iowa.