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Definition of Gift Card/Gift Certificate:

R.I. Gen. Laws §6-13-12

“Gift certificate” means a record evidencing a promise, made for monetary consideration, by the seller or issuer for the record that goods or services will be provided to the owner of the record to the value shown in the record and includes, but is not limited to, a record that contains a microprocessor chip, magnetic strip or other means of storage of information that is pre-funded and for which the value is decremented upon each use, a gift card, an electronic gift card, stored-value card or certificate, a store card, prepaid long distance telephone service that is activated by a prepaid card that requires dialing an access number or an access code for each call in addition to dialing the phone number to which the user of the prepaid card seeks to connect, or a similar record or card.

Expiration Date Provision:

R.I. Gen. Laws §6-13-12

Prohibits expiration dates.


R.I. Gen. Laws §6-13-12.1

Any gift certificate/card as defined in §6-13-12 which has been donated for fundraising purposes, shall be exempt from the provisions of §6-13-12 relating to expiration dates, provided, that the gift certificate/card clearly states that the gift certificate/card has been donated for charity purposes and is subject to a clearly defined expiration date, not less than one year from the issuance of the gift certificate/card to the gift certificate/card recipient.

Fee Provision:

R.I. Gen. Laws §6-13-12

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation of any kind to charge any surcharge or additional monthly or annual service or maintenance fees on gift certificates. Any person, firm, or corporation that shall violate the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200.

Redeemable for Cash: 

R.I. Gen. Laws §6-13-12
Any unused portion of a redeemed gift certificate shall be afforded to the consumer by reissuing the gift certificate for the unused amount or providing cash where the balance due the consumer is less than $1.

Escheat Provision:

R.I. Gen. Laws §6-13-12

Due to the unlimited redemption period, the division of taxation shall not escheat the funds paid for those unredeemed gift certificates.


R.I. Gen. Laws §33-21.1-1 et seq.

Pursuant to §6-13-12, gift certificates shall not be presumed to be abandoned.

SOURCE: National Conference of State Legislatures

PLEASE NOTE:  Please note the summaries should be used for general informational purposes and not as a legal reference. DropZone Marketing is unable to answer questions or provide guidance to business owners regarding gift cards and gift certificate laws and practices. If you have questions regarding issuing or redeeming a gift card or gift certificate or a retailer’s practices, please contact the Office of the Attorney General in your state.

About James La Barrie

James La Barrie is passionate about marketing and changing a company's service culture. Originally from the Caribbean island of Antigua, James melds his approach of marketing and delivering elite service together as one. James has injected his 'service marketing' approach throughout his career to transform companies from good to great.

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