Starting today, businesses can no longer issue gift cards and gift certificates that expire within the next nine years…extending the state’s previous minimum term of five years. Secretary Robert J. Rodriguez says that the new legislation will bring back value to the consumer.

“The law prohibits gift card fees and limits expiration dates, which ensures recipients can enjoy the full value of the gift they received,” he said.

Since gift card fees will be prohibited, the gift card or certificate can’t decline in value due to the fees. That means no activation fees, retroactive fees, redemption fees, or any other kind of fee.

Consumers can also redeem a gift card or certificate for cash if the value is less than $5.

“Gift cards offer consumers convenience during the holidays,” Secretary Rodriguez said. “Gift cards now have a longer shelf life, and recipients are afforded more time to find the perfect gift to treat themselves as their gift giver intended.”