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Press Release
November 16, 2009

Federal Reserve proposes rules to restrict fees
and expiration dates on gift cards
For immediate release
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The Federal Reserve Board on Monday announced proposed rules that
would restrict the fees and expiration dates that may apply to gift cards.
The rules would protect consumers from certain unexpected costs and
would require that gift card terms and conditions be clearly stated.
The proposed rules would prohibit dormancy, inactivity, and service fees
on gift cards unless: (1) there has been at least one year of inactivity on
the certificate or card; (2) no more than one such fee is charged per
month; and (3) the consumer is given clear and conspicuous disclosures
about the fees. Expiration dates for funds underlying gift cards must be
at least five years after the date of issuance, or five years after the date
when funds were last loaded.
The Board's proposed rules generally cover retail gift cards, which can
be used to buy goods or services at a single merchant or affiliated group
of merchants, and network-branded gift cards, which are redeemable at
any merchant that accepts the card brand.
The proposed rules are issued under Regulation E (Electronic Fund
Transfers) to implement the gift card provisions of the Credit Card
Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009.
The Board's notice is attached. Comments on the proposal must be
submitted within 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, which
is expected shortly.

Federal Register notice: HTML | 200 KB PDF
Highlights document

Last Update: November 16, 2009

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