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      RS 51:1423     


§1423.  Deceptive trade practices; gift certificates; expiration date

A.  For purposes of this Section, the term "gift certificate" shall mean a writing identified as a gift certificate or gift card purchased by a buyer for use by a person not redeemable in cash and usable in its face amount in lieu of cash in exchange for goods or services supplied by the seller.  A gift certificate or gift card shall include an electronic card with a banked dollar value, a merchandise credit, a certificate where the issuer has received payment for the full face value of the future purchase or delivery of goods or services and any other medium that evidences the giving of consideration in exchange for the right to redeem the certificate, electronic card or other medium for goods, food, services, credit or money of at least an equal value.

B.  It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to sell a gift certificate to a purchaser that contains any of the following:

(1)  An expiration date that is less than five years from the date of issuance.  Such expiration date shall appear in capital letters in at least ten-point font on the gift certificate.

(2)  A service fee, including but not limited to a service fee for dormancy fee. However, nothing shall prevent the issuer from charging a one-time handling fee, which shall not exceed one dollar per gift certificate.

C.  A gift certificate sold without an expiration date shall be valid until redeemed or replaced.

D.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to any of the following gift certificates:

(1)  Gift certificates that are distributed by the issuer to a consumer pursuant to an awards loyalty or promotional program without any money or other thing of value being given in exchange for the gift certificate by the consumer.

(2)  Gift certificates that are sold below face value or donated to nonprofit and charitable organizations for fundraising purposes.

(3)  Repealed by Acts 2010, No. 174, §2.

E.  Any violation of this Section shall be a deceptive and unfair trade practice and shall subject the violator to any and all actions and penalties provided for in this Chapter.

F.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to general use prepaid cards as defined in Title IV of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009, 15 U.S.C. 1693 et seq., which are issued by federally insured depository institutions.

Acts 2004, No. 69, §1; Acts 2010, No. 174, §§1, 2.

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