Escheat and Gift Card Laws: Hawaii

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Definition of Gift Card/Gift Certificate:

Hawaii Rev. Stat. §481B-13(e)

“Gift certificate” or “certificate” includes any electronic card with a banked dollar value where the issuer has received payment for the full banked dollar value for the future purchase or delivery of goods or services, any certificate where the issuer has received payment for the full face value of the certificate for future purchases or delivery of goods or services, and any other medium that evidences the giving of consideration in exchange for the right to redeem the certificate, electronic card, or other medium for goods, food, or services of at least an equal value.

Expiration Date Provision:

Hawaii Rev. Stat. §481B-13

The date of issuance and the expiration date shall be clearly identified on the face of the gift certificate, or, if an electronic card with a banked dollar value, clearly printed upon a sales receipt transferred to the purchaser of the electronic card upon the completed transaction. The expiration date shall be not less than five years after the date of issuance; provided that the expiration date of certificates issued only in paper form shall be not less than two years after the date of issuance. If the gift certificate does not have an expiration date, it shall be valid in perpetuity.

Fee Provision:

Hawaii Rev. Stat. §481B-13(a)

Prohibits service fees, including for dormancy or inactivity.

“Service fee” means a periodic fee, charge, or penalty for holding or use of a gift certificate, but does not include a one-time initial activation or issuance fee.

Any activation or issuance fee charged shall not exceed the lesser of 10 percent of the face value of the certificate or $5.

Escheat Provision:

Hawaii Rev. Stat. §523A-14

A gift certificate issued in the ordinary course of an issuer’s business which remains unclaimed by the owner for more than five years after becoming payable or distributable is presumed abandoned. The amount presumed abandoned is the price paid by the purchaser for the gift certificate.

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.

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