Under Montana law, gift cards and gift certificates do not expire in Montana. Their value cannot be reduced by any fee or by failure to use them. If a gift certificate was originally for more than $5 but has less than $5 remaining on it, it can be redeemed for cash.
Exceptions – Some cards and coupons are not considered gift cards or certificates, and so they can expire and are not redeemable for cash. Under Section 30-14-102 (5)(b) of the Montana Code Annotated, these include:
- prepaid telecommunications and technology cards, including but not limited to prepaid telephone calling cards, prepaid technical support cards and prepaid Internet disks that have been distributed to or purchased by a consumer (phone cards)
- coupons provided to a consumer pursuant to any award, loyalty or promotion program without any money or consideration being given in exchange for the card
Gift certificates and gift cards can still become unclaimed property after three years. For more information, contact the Montana Department of Revenue or go to its Unclaimed Property page.
Federal law also deals with gift cards and gift certificates. Under federal law, gift certificates usable with multiple sellers of goods or services, such as Chamber of Commerce gift certificates or mall gift cards, must be valid for at least five years and money added to prepaid card must also be good for five years.