Comptroller reminds New Yorkers to check the fine print on gift cards

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Gift cards are among the top presents given during the holiday season and many come with fine print and deadlines.

New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli sent out a notice urging New Yorkers to check on details about fees and expiration dates on gift cards. Checking details on gift cards can be done by simply calling the number listed on the back of the card or going to the designated website.

“After the holiday season wraps up, many New Yorkers tend to forget or lose track of their gift cards,” DiNapoli said.  “Last year my office received over $13 million worth of unused cards. As a rule of thumb, New Yorkers should register the card with the retailer and use gift cards within a year of purchase to avoid inactivity fees.”

DiNapoli said gift cards may have other terms and conditions that can decrease the value.  These may include:

  • Service fees when the card is purchased;
  • Dormancy fees if the gift card is not used within a certain time period;
  • Fees to call and check the balance remaining on the card; and
  • Replacement fees for lost or stolen gift cards.

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