Federal Reserve issues new gift card rules to protect consumers

08:23, March 24, 2010      

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The U.S. Federal Reserve on Tuesday announced new rules to restrict the fees and expiration dates that may apply to gift cards.

The rules, which will take effect Aug. 22, protect consumers from certain unexpected costs and require that gift card terms and conditions be clearly stated, the Fed said in a statement.

Under the new rules, 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 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, according to the Federal Reserve.

Source: Xinhua
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