Tips to protect your gift cards

Michael L. Fitzgerald
Treasurer of the State of Iowa

     Over the years, gift cards have become one of the most popular gift items to give and receive. State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald wants Iowa consumers to make sure they take full advantage of their gift cards.

     “Each year, gift cards go unused because the cards are lost of forgotten,” Fitzgerald stated. “Prompt usage of gift cards reduces the likelihood it will be lost or stolen, and eliminates the need to worry about expiration dates and fees that can reduce its value.”

     Whether you give a gift card this holiday season, these tips can help protect the value of the card throughout the year:

     • Treat a gift card like cash.

     • Give the original receipt to the recipient in the event it is needed to replace a lost or stolen gift card.

     • Buy gift cards from reputable retailers where you know the recipient will shop.

     • Use the gift card as soon as possible. Verify if the card has an expiration date or fees that reduce the card’s value over time.

     “We encourage retailers to honor all gift cards they sell, even those that have expired,” said Fitzgerald. “In doing so, retailers stay on friendly terms with their customers.”

     Consumers with questions or concerns regarding an expired gift card a retailer will not honor are encouraged to contact the state treasurer’s office. Please provide a copy of the gift card and a brief letter stating the circumstances of the complaint. The information can be sent to: Michael L. Fitzgerald, Treasurer of the State of Iowa, Unclaimed Property Reporting Desk, State Capitol, Des Moines, IA 50319. You can also e-mail:


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