Escheat and Gift Card Laws: Illinois

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ILLINOIS

Definition of Gift Card/Gift Certificate:

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 815, §505/2SS(a)

“Gift certificate” means a record evidencing a promise, made for consideration, by the seller or issuer of the record that goods or services will be provided to the holder of the record for the value shown in the record and includes, but is not limited to, a record that contains a microprocessor chip, magnetic stripe or other means for the storage of information that is prefunded 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 or a similar record or card. “Gift certificate” also includes a credit slip issued by a store to a consumer who returns goods that enables the consumer to receive other goods of similar value in exchange for the returned goods. For purposes of this act, any gift certificate usable with multiple sellers of goods or services is not included in the definition.

Expiration Date Provision:

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 815, §505/2SS(b)

On or after Jan. 1, 2008, no person shall sell a gift certificate that is subject to an expiration date earlier than five years after the date of issuance.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 815, §505/2SS(c)

Any gift certificate issued prior to Jan. 1, 2008, that is subject to an expiration date must contain a statement clearly and conspicuously printed on the gift certificate stating the expiration date. The statement may appear on the front or back of the gift certificate in a location where it is visible to any purchaser prior to the purchase. Does not apply to any gift certificate issued prior to Jan. 1, 2008, that contains a toll free phone number and a statement clearly and conspicuously printed on the gift certificate stating that holders can call the toll free number to find out the balance on the gift certificate, if applicable, and the expiration date.

Fee Provision:

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 815, §505/2SS(b)

On or after Jan. 1, 2008, no person shall sell a gift certificate that is subject to a post-purchase fee.

Any gift certificate issued prior to Jan. 1, 2008, that is subject to a fee must contain a statement clearly and conspicuously printed on the gift certificate stating whether there is a fee, the amount of the fee, how often the fee will occur, that the fee is triggered by inactivity of the gift certificate, and at what point the fee will be charged. The statement may appear on the front or back of the gift certificate in a location where it is visible to any purchaser prior to the purchase.

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 815, §505/2SS(c)

The face value of a gift certificate issued on or after Jan. 1, 2008, may not be reduced in value and the holder of a gift certificate issued after Jan. 1, 2008, may not be penalized in any way for non-use or untimely redemption of the gift certificate.

Escheat Provision:

Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 765, §1025/10.6

Only applies to gift certificates/cards with an expiration date or fees or if the card/certificate was issued before the 93rd General Assembly (2003-2004). After property is abandoned, it reverts to the 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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