ESCHEAT AND GIFT CARD LAWS: NEW JERSEY

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NEW JERSEY

Definition of Gift Card/Gift Certificate:

N.J. Rev. Stat. §56:8-110(c)

“Gift card” means a tangible device, whereon is embedded or encoded in an electronic or other format a value issued in exchange for payment, which promises to provide to the bearer merchandise of equal value to the remaining balance of the device.

“Gift certificate” means a written promise given in exchange for payment to provide merchandise in a specified amount or of equal value to the bearer of the certificate.

 

N.J. Rev. Stat. §46:30B-6

“Stored value card” means a record that evidences a promise, made for monetary or other consideration, by the issuer or seller of the record that the owner of the record will be provided, solely or a combination of, merchandise, services, or cash in the value shown in the record, which is pre-funded and the value of which is reduced upon each redemption. The term “stored value card” includes, but is not limited to the following items: paper gift certificates, records that contain a microprocessor chip, magnetic stripe or other means for the storage of information, gift cards, electronic gift cards, rebate cards, stored-value cards or certificates, store cards, and similar records or cards.

 

N.J. Rev. Stat. §46:30B-42.1(k)

“General purpose reloadable card” means a stored value card issued by a bank or other similarly regulated financial institution or by a licensed money transmitter that is (1) usable and honored upon presentation at multiple merchants or service providers that are not under common ownership or control for goods or services or at automated teller machines, (2) issued in a requested prepaid amount which amount may be, at the option of the issuer, increased in value or reloaded if requested by the cardholder, and (3) not marketed or labeled as a gift card; the term “reloadable card” includes a temporary non-reloadable card issued solely in connection with a reloadable card.

Expiration Date Provision:

N.J. Rev. Stat. §56:8-110(a)(1)

In no case shall the underlying funds associated with a gift certificate or gift card expire within the 24 months immediately following the date of sale. Terms regarding expiration date must be disclosed as specified.

 

N.J. Rev. Stat. §46:30B-42.1(i)

The funds associated with a stored value card sold on or after Dec. 1, 2012 shall be valid until redemption and shall not expire. However, a stored value card may contain an expiration date to the extent permitted by federal law that applies only to the card or other tangible medium through which the underlying funds can be accessed, provided those underlying funds do not expire.

Fee Provision:

N.J. Rev. Stat. §56:8-110(a)

No dormancy fee shall be assessed on a gift card/certificate within 24 months of the date of sale or within 24 months of the most recent activity or transaction. Fee shall not exceed $2 per month. Terms regarding fees must be disclosed as specified.

 

N.J. Rev. Stat. §46:30B-42.1(j)

For stored value cards sold on or after Dec. 1, 2012, in addition to the requirements of §37 of P.L.2002, c.35 (C.46:30B-43.1), no fees or charges shall be imposed on a stored value card except that the issuer may charge (1) an activation, issuance, purchase or similar fee related to the issuance and purchase of a stored value card and for each occurrence of adding value to an existing stored value card; and (2) a replacement card fee with respect to lost, stolen or damaged stored value cards provided that these fees are disclosed in writing prior to issuance or referenced on the stored value card or the stored value card packaging.  The state treasurer may adopt regulations regarding the establishment of activation, issuance, purchase or similar fees, fees for adding value to an existing stored value card, and replacement card fees. A general purpose reloadable card shall not be subject to the provisions of this subsection.

Redeemable for Cash: 

N.J. Rev. Stat. §56:8-110(c)

If a stored value card deemed a gift card or gift certificate pursuant to §5 of P.L.2010, c.25 (C.46:30B-42.1) is redeemed and a balance of less than $5 remains on the card after redemption, at the owner’s request the merchant or other entity redeeming the card shall refund the balance in cash to the owner. A merchant or other entity required to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall be liable to a penalty of $500 for each violation plus restitution of the amount of the cash value remaining on the stored value card, provided however that the amount of the penalty shall be trebled for an aggregate of 100 such violations occurring during any 12 month period. Failure to provide requested cash redemption for each stored value card shall be considered a separate violation.

Escheat Provision:

N.J. Rev. Stat. §46:30B-42.1

a. A stored value card for which there has been no stored value card activity for five years is presumed abandoned. This subsection shall apply to any stored value card issued on or after July 1, 2010.

b. The proceeds of a general purpose reloadable card presumed abandoned shall be the value of the card, in money, on the date the general purpose reloadable card is presumed abandoned. The proceeds of all other stored value cards presumed abandoned shall be 60 percent of the value of the card, in money, on the date the stored value card is presumed 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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