Turn to Tara: How to maximize your gift cards
Did you get a lot of gift cards for the holidays this year? If so, make sure you don't wait too long to spend them!
After five years, in most parts of the country, money from unused gift cards is handed over to your state office of unclaimed funds, which in New York is overseen by Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.
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Just last year, DiNapoli recovered a record $48 million in gifts.
Gift cards tend to decrease in value over time due to fine print restrictions you've probably missed along with hidden fees for things like checking your cards' balance, not using it within a certain time frame, or replacing a lost card.
The good news is - in many states - the laws governing expiration dates and fees are changing, and offering better consumer protections.
In New York for example, a new law went into effect just last month, prohibiting most fees and requiring new gift cards to stay valid for at least nine years, in most cases, which is four years longer than the previous rule.
Got a problem? You should Turn to Tara. HERE'S HOW.