| August 19, 2010

Prepaid credit cards not included in new gift card rules

Starting on Sunday, the parts of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act that pertain to gift cards will be enacted.

However, while these rules apply to fees and expiration dates on all kinds of gift cards – those offered by specific stores, shopping centers or credit card companies – they do not change the way prepaid credit cards work. According to a report from MSNBC, these new regulations will wipe out inactivity fees on all cards until they haven’t been used for 12 months, and these cards cannot expire for at least five years.

Further, no more than one fee of any kind can be charged to a gift card in one month, the report said. A one-time fee can be charged when consumers first buy the card.

The report also said that information printed on the card itself must disclose all fees and expiration dates. It also has to provide a toll-free phone number or website where even more information on the account can be found.

These rules do not apply to prepaid credit or reloadable debit cards, which are governed by separate provisions of the Credit CARD Act.

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