DOJ: News Release

Bullock Reminds Consumers that Gift Cards and Certificates Don’t Expire in Montana

HELENA – As consumers prepare for another busy weekend of holiday shopping, Attorney General Steve Bullock reminded Montanans that, under state law, gift cards and gift certificates do not expire – despite what may be printed on them.

Gift cards and gift certificates also cannot be reduced by any fee or by failure to use them and those that have less than $5 remaining on them — but were originally valued at over $5 — can be redeemed for cash.

“Gift certificates and gift cards are popular presents – but too often consumers will throw them away if they think they’ve expired,” Bullock said. “Montanans have a right to use these cards and certificates – regardless of any date that’s stamped on them. Consumers who have questions or are unable to use their cards should contact my office.”

Some cards and coupons are not considered gift cards or certificates under Montana law, and so they can expire and are not redeemable for cash. These include:

  • prepaid telecommunications and technology cards, like prepaid telephone calling cards, prepaid technical support cards and prepaid Internet disks that have been distributed to or purchased by a consumer;
  • coupons provided to a consumer as part of an award, loyalty or promotion program without any money or consideration being given in exchange for the card, or;
  • gift certificates usable with multiple sellers of goods or services, like gift certificates from a Chamber of Commerce or shopping center or prepaid credit cards (like those from Visa and MasterCard) that can be used anywhere.

Bullock encouraged businesses or consumers who have further questions to contact the Office of Consumer Protection at (800) 481-6896 or (406) 444-4500.

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