ESCHEAT AND GIFT CARD LAWS: CALIFORNIA

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

CALIFORNIA

Definition of Gift Card/Gift Certificate:

Cal. Civil Code §1749.45

Includes gift cards, but does not include any gift card usable with multiple sellers of goods or services, provided the expiration date, if any, is printed on the card. This exemption does not apply to a gift card usable only with affiliated sellers of goods or services.

Expiration Date Provision:

Cal. Civil Code §1749.5
Expiration date prohibited.

Fee Provision:

Cal. Civil Code §1749.5
Dormancy fee allowed as specified; all other fees prohibited.

Redeemable for Cash: 

Cal. Civil Code §1749.5(b)
(1) Any gift certificate sold after January 1, 1997, is redeemable in cash for its cash value, or subject to replacement with a new gift certificate at no cost to the purchaser or holder.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), any gift certificate with a cash value of less than $10 is redeemable in cash for its cash value.

Escheat Provision:

Cal. Civ. Proc. Code §1520.5
Gift certificates purchased after 1997 are not subject to escheat. The escheat law does apply to any gift certificate that has an expiration date and that is given in exchange for money or any other thing of value.

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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