Escheat and Gift Card Laws: Florida

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FLORIDA

Definition of Gift Card/Gift Certificate:

Fla. Stat. §501.95

“Gift certificate” means a certificate, gift card, stored value card, or similar instrument issued in exchange for monetary consideration when the certificate, card, or similar instrument is redeemable for merchandise, food, or services regardless of whether any cash may be paid to the owner of the certificate, card, or instrument as part of the redemption transaction.

“Credit memo” means a certificate, card, stored value card, or similar instrument issued in exchange for returned merchandise when the certificate, card, or similar instrument is redeemable for merchandise, food, or services regardless of whether any cash may be paid to the owner of the certificate, card, or instrument as part of the redemption transactionn.

Expiration Date Provision: 

Fla. Stat. §501.95

A gift certificate or credit memo sold or issued for consideration in this state may not have an expiration date, expiration period. However, a gift certificate may have an expiration date of not less than three years if it is provided as a charitable contribution when no consideration is given to the issuer by the consumer, or not less than one year if it is provided as a benefit pursuant to an employee-incentive program, consumer-loyalty program, or promotional program when no consideration is given to the issuer by the consumer, and the expiration date is prominently disclosed in writing to the consumer at the time it is provided. In addition, a gift certificate may have an expiration date if it is provided as part of a larger package related to a convention, conference, vacation, or sporting or fine arts event having a limited duration so long as the majority of the value paid by the recipient is attributable to the convention, conference, vacation, or event. An issuer may honor a gift certificate that has expired on or before the effective date of this act.

Fee Provision:

Fla. Stat. §501.95

A gift certificate or credit memo sold or issued for consideration in this state may not have any type of postsale charge or fee imposed on the gift certificate or credit memo, including, but not limited to, service charges, dormancy fees, account maintenance fees, or cash-out fees.

Does not apply to a gift certificate or credit memo sold or issued by a financial institution, as defined in §655.005, or by a money transmitter, as defined in §560.103, if the gift certificate or credit memo is redeemable by multiple unaffiliated merchants.

Escheat Provision:

Fla. Stat. §717.1045

An unredeemed gift certificate or credit memo as defined in §501.95 is not required to be reported as unclaimed property. The consideration paid for an unredeemed gift certificate or credit memo is the property of the issuer of the unredeemed gift certificate or credit memo. An unredeemed gift certificate or credit memo is subject only to any rights of a purchaser or owner thereof and is not subject to a claim made by any state acting on behalf of a purchaser or owner. It is the intent of the Legislature that this section apply to the custodial holding of unredeemed gift certificates and credit memos. However, a gift certificate or credit memo described in §501.95(2)(b) shall be reported as unclaimed property. The consideration paid for such a gift certificate or credit memo is the property of the owner of the gift certificate or credit memo.

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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