Disclosure delayed on $23 billion in gift card spending

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

Consumers gained new gift card protections when most provisions of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 took effect. But legislation known as the ECO-Gift CARD Act delayed one part of the law.

LSU AgCenter family economist Jeanette Tucker says new information regarding inactivity fees and expiration dates won’t be required to be printed on gift cards until after the holidays.

While Americans will spend a projected $23 billion on gift cards this holiday season, gift card purchasing and usage disclosure will remain murky.

“The ECO-Gift CARD Act prevents the destruction of more than 100 million gift cards that didn’t have the required disclosures printed on them,” Tucker said.

The disclosure requirements of the CARD Act will go into effect on Jan. 31, 2011. Gift cards without the disclosures can still be sold through January, but card issuers still must apply the CARD Act benefits. Newly minted CARD Act-compliant gift cards will have the required information printed on them.

During the holiday shopping season, “consumers can expect to see a combination of old and new cards in stores,” Tucker said.