Store Research

Gift Certificates

SB 250, c. 640 of 2007

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SB 250, c. 640: Gift certificates. Allows any gift card, as defined, with a cash value of less than $10 to be redeemed in cash for its cash value. This bill deletes from current law governing gift cards the exemption for food product gift cards or certificates.

According to the author's office, consumers with small values on their gift cards often cannot buy anything in the store with the remaining value on the card, and they cannot get change for the value. This often leads to the consumer not spending the small remaining value left on the gift card. This problem is so common that in 2006, $8.2 billion in gift cards went unspent in the United States. In addition, there is an overly broad exemption for all "food products." Originally, this exemption was intended for only gift certificates whose value was a named perishable food product such as a turkey. However, the wording makes it unclear which retail establishments are covered under this exemption.

 If you would like to order the legislative history of this bill [click here] .