ESCHEAT AND GIFT CARD LAWS: ARKANSAS

Thursday, December 27, 2012

ARKANSAS

Definition of Gift Card/Gift Certificate:

Ark. Stat. Ann. §4-88-702

“General use prepaid card” means a card or other electronic payment device issued by a bank or financial institution that is: (i) Usable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants or service providers or at automated teller machines; (ii) Issued in a requested amount whether or not that amount may be, at the option of the issuer, increased in value or reloaded if requested by the holder; (iii) Purchased or loaded on a prepaid basis; and (iv) Honored, upon presentation, by merchants for goods or services, or at automated teller machines.

“Gift certificate” means a written promise that is: (i) Usable at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo; (ii) Issued in a specific amount and cannot be increased; (iii) Purchased on a prepaid basis in exchange for payment; and (iv) Honored upon presentation by the single merchant or affiliated group of merchants for goods or services.

“Store gift card” means a plastic card or other electronic payment device that is: (i) Usable at a single merchant or an affiliated group of merchants that share the same name, mark, or logo; (ii) Issued in a specified amount and may or may not be increased in value or reloaded; (iii) Purchased on a prepaid basis in exchange for payment; and (iv) Honored upon presentation by the single merchant or affiliated group of merchants for goods or services.

Ark. Stat. Ann. §4-88-704(3)

The Act does not apply to “general use prepaid cards,” “gift certificates,” or “store gift cards” which are usable with multiple, unaffiliated sellers of goods or services and are issued by a financial institution under §4-88-702(3).

Expiration Date Provision:

Ark. Stat. Ann. §4-88-703(a) and (c)

A person shall not sell or issue a gift certificate, a store gift card, or a general use prepaid card that is subject to an expiration date earlier than two years from the date of issuance or sale of the gift certificate, store gift card, or general use prepaid card.

Upon the expiration of the two-year time period, a gift certificate, a store gift card, or a general-use prepaid card may be subject to expiration if the following disclosures are printed clearly in a conspicuous place on the front or back of the gift certificate, the store gift card, or the general use prepaid card in at least 10-point type: The date on which the gift certificate, the store gift card, or the general use prepaid card expires..

Fee Provision:

Ark. Stat. Ann. §4-88-703(c)

A dormancy fee, an inactivity charge or fee, or a service fee shall not be charged on a gift certificate, a store gift card, or a general use prepaid card before two years from the date of issuance or sale of the gift certificate, store gift card, or general use prepaid card.

Upon the expiration of the two year time period, a gift certificate, a store gift card, or a general use prepaid card may be subject to a post-sale fee, including a service fee, a dormancy fee, an account maintenance fee, a cash out fee, a gift card replacement fee, an activation fee, or a reactivation fee, if the following disclosures are printed clearly in a conspicuous place on the front or back of the gift certificate, the store gift card, or the general use prepaid card in at least 10-point type: With respect to a post sale fee: (A) The amount of the fee; (B) The circumstances under which the fee will be imposed; (C) The frequency with which the fee will be imposed; and (D) Whether the fee is triggered by inactivity.

Escheat Provision:

Ark. Stat. Ann. §18-28-201(13)(B)

Gift certificates/gift cards, in-store merchandise credits, or layaway accounts issued or maintained by any person in the business of selling tangible personal property at retail are not considered property and not subject to escheat laws.

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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