Here is news and information about the federal governments gift card crackdown. New regulations proposed in Washington will limit the ability of gift card merchants to levy fees.

gift card crackdown

With all of the regulations coming out of Washington under the Obama administration it is no wonder they are trying to solve a problem that nobody knows exists. Who has ever had to pay a fee when using a gift card or had any problem other than the company going out of business? Comments are welcome.

The new Federal Reserve rules would require that the terms of use of gift cards be clear and that the cards would not prompt hidden costs when the customer attempts to redeem them. Anyone every had that problem? Me neither.

One of the things targeted by the gift card crackdown are expiration dates contained in the fine print in the bottom of the card or back. We are all accustomed to expiration dates, but the federal government is proposing that they can never be less than five years from the date the card was issued. That is a really bad idea for a new store attempting to get name recognition.

Another part of the gift card crackdown would ban any fees within the first year of using a card, and only small fees allowed after-wards. Some companies charge $2 to $5 per month for dormant unused cards, apparently as a way to deplete the liability off the company’s books. If you’ve paid a fee to use a gift card tell us your story.

Lastly, there will be greater disclosure required of the terms, which means more fine print to read. All of these regulations will add more costs for companies issuing gift cards, which means choices will be restricted and they will begin to charge fees to the purchaser of the gift cards rather than the users of them. The $50 billion dollar gift card industry will shrink which means loss of jobs and consumer choice. This is the unintended consequence of government doing too much.

Onerous regulations are the order of the day as our government regulates more and more of our lives. The gift card crackdown appears to be another example of our federal government run amok.

Gift Card Warning (Video)