| November 8, 2010

U.S. allows mislabeled holiday card sale

Consumers looking for holiday gifts have long turned to gift cards as stocking-stuffers; however, a new report suggests this year’s batch may contain some misinformation.

The Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 not only changed the rules for debit and credit cards but also for store-issued gift cards.

The legislation requires gift cards to remain valid for at least five years and limits the charging of fees, according to a report by Consumer Reports. The regulations on the credit card industry were supposed to take effect in late August, although, the implementation of the law has been held back until January 31.

“The issuers that sell multiple-use cards like American Express, Discover, or Visa are more likely to come with fees and expiration dates printed on the cards that are now obsolete under the new law,” Suzanne Martindale, an attorney at Consumers Union, told Consumer Affairs.

The report suggests single-retailer cards were less likely to contain the errors, the news source says. However, the report says it could be a long time before mislabeled gift cards pass out of circulation.

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