Check terms and rules of gift cards carefully before purchase
Consumers should pay close attention to see if the gift cards they are purchasing this holiday season have fees, rules or restrictions "that may diminish their value over time," New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli announced Tuesday.
Many cards still include service fees, dormancy fees, a fee to call and check balances and replacement fees for lost or stolen cards.
Unused gift card values issued by New York corporations are required to be turned over to the Comptroller's office after five years of dormancy. The office now has $12 billion in unclaimed fund. To see if any of this money is rightfully yours, go to www.osc.state.ny.us.
DiNapoli advised using cards within a year of purchase. Before surrendering your cash to your favorite retailers this shopping season, check the remaining balance on the cards you used last year.