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Unclaimed Gift Certificates are Increase

The states hold billions of dollars in unclaimed gift certificates, which go unspent every year. The amount of unclaimed gift cards is reaching an all time high. Every year the states face the problem of accumulation of unclaimed gift certificates worth billions of dollars. The data provided by New York state comptroller specified that last year the New York state collected $9.6 million in unredeemed gift cards.

The gift cards goes unclaimed due several reasons such as loss, unused, or expired gift cards. This results in loss of money for the consumers and unclaimed money for the government. The retailers are the sole benefactors from unspent gift cards. The major reason behind unclaimed gifts certificates is lack of time on the part of the consumers to redeem the cards, while not finding anything good as per their likings is another main reason. Many consumers even tend to forget about their gift cards.

In lieu of the rising amount of unclaimed gift cards, many states are implementing unclaimed property laws to prevent retailers from associating any expiration dates or fees to gift cards, so that the consumers can keep the value of cards for an enhanced tenure.

Currently, 32 states do not consider gift cards as unclaimed money. However, New York and several other states are taking the money from unclaimed gift cards if the card is unused for five years. Moreover, it is extremely difficult to claim the money back as gift cards usually don’t identify the user except for a credit card.

Consumer Reports suggest that consumers should register and use the card as soon as possible, especially when the gift card has an expiration date or monthly maintenance fee. Moreover, it is advised that consumers spend the entire amount of the card in a single go and check with the merchant about the prices and if the amount of the gift card will be suffice to buy any product or they will have to pay additional amount.

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