Gift cards are popular but sometimes they can pile up in wallets and drawers for months or years, only to leave customers with questions about whether they're still usable when they resurface.

Can Gift Cards Expire in Massachusetts?

According to Mass.Gov, in Massachusetts, gift certificates must be redeemable for at least seven years from their issuance date, and the expiration date must be clearly indicated. If the expiration date is not provided, the certificate is redeemable indefinitely.

Once a certificate is redeemed for 90% or more of its value, the remaining balance can be received in cash. If the remaining balance is $5 or less, the holder can choose to receive the balance in cash or continue using the certificate.

WBSM-AM/AM 1420 logo
Get our free mobile app

What Federal Law Says About Gift Cards

Massachusetts law does not apply to gift cards issued by national banks, which may have different expiration dates and fees. These cards may have shorter expiration dates and fees like monthly maintenance or dormancy fees (when the gift cards are left unused for a long period of time). Federal law prohibits gift cards from having expiration dates of less than five years, and if a card expires with a remaining balance, the issuer must provide a replacement card or certificate.

If you have a reloadable gift card with an expiration date, you can request a new card with no fee if you reload funds before the expiration date. Some issuers have stopped charging inactivity fees or imposing expiration dates, so it's important to check with the issuer for the most up-to-date information.

If you have a problem with a gift card or certificate, contact the store or financial institution where it was issued. If the issue isn't resolved, you can file a complaint with the regulating agency.

Massachusetts Laws You Don't Even Know You're Breaking

There are a lot of strange laws still on the books in Massachusetts, many that also carry actual punishments and fines. Though we're pretty sure no one has been arrested for the crimes we're about to list, we're also pretty sure you have violated at least one of these laws in the last month or so.

Gallery Credit: Nancy Hall

Items That Are Banned or Prohibited from Mailing in Massachusetts

Thinking about mailing a live animal? Think again. Here are some items that are a "No go" when it comes to the United States Postal Service. Here is the information provided by the USPS.

Gallery Credit: Maddie Levine

15 of the Weirdest Laws in Rhode Island

The world has changed and yet some laws have stayed the same.
These are some of the strangest laws still on the books in Rhode Island.

Gallery Credit: Nancy Hall

More From WBSM-AM/AM 1420