California law coupon expiration date

Purchasers pay a specified amount of money, and in return receive a redeemable coupon. Coupons often expire within weeks or months of issuance. Federal and state laws have expiration date limitations for gift certificates.

Under federal law, a gift certificate must be valid for at least 5 years from the date of issuance. State laws vary.

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5 Facts About California's Gift Card Laws

For example, California prohibits expiration dates, whereas Illinois limits expiration dates to 5 years from issuance. Gift certificates are generally defined as a card, code, or other device that: i is not reloadable; ii is issued on a prepaid basis; iii is issued in a specified amount; and iv can be used only at a single or affiliated group of merchants.

Under federal law, a card, code, or other device is not issued in a "specified amount" if it is redeemable for a specific good, service, or "experience" e. Federal law and many state laws also provide that gift certificates issued in connection with a promotional program such as a sales promotion where a consumer receives a coupon or discount redeemable toward a product or service may expire at any time--so long as certain disclosure requirements are satisfied.

Generally, a consumer is permitted to provide value or money in exchange for such promotional certificates. However, state laws differ and prohibit the exchange of money or other things of value for the promotional certificate.

Do Gift Certificate Laws Apply to Coupons?

Coupons generally satisfy many of the definitional requirements of a gift certificate. Typically, they are redeemable at a single or affiliated merchant, are not reloadable, and are purchased on a prepaid basis. However, coupons may not meet the requirement that they be issued in a "specified amount. While couponing for a specific experience may appear as a reasonable strategy to avoid the application of federal and state gift certificate laws, in reality this may be difficult to implement since some state laws governing the issuance of coupons may require that the coupon have a stated cash value.

Is it legal for gift certificates to expire?

In that case, the coupon will trigger the "specified amount" requirement and be subject to federal and state law expiration date limitations. It may be possible to issue coupons with a stated cash value and a short-term expiration date if structured to take advantage of the promotional certificate exclusion. Generally, if the coupon is structured in this way, the purchase value i. In order to fall within this exclusion, the coupon must be specifically structured and contain certain disclosures.

Courts have yet to decide whether coupons are gift certificates under federal or state laws, or whether they qualify for the promotional certificate exclusion. However, given the pending lawsuits in various jurisdictions, it is likely that one or more courts will address these issues in the near future.

California law coupon expiration

Until then, franchise systems offering coupons including through daily deal offerers like Groupon and LivingSocial should understand the potential application of federal and state laws and structure their coupon programs to minimize the risk of violating these laws. Maureen E. She practices primarily in the area of domestic and international franchising, licensing, and distribution transactions.

Contact her at or maureen.

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My question is this, the statute says: d Dell promo cards aren't gift cards Posted by Mitch Lipka I have a Visa rebate card from Newegg through myprepaidcenter. To get it re-activated, I spoke to an agent from a number on the back of the card and he was pretty much reading from the book when he said that this was Newegg's policy to be strict about expiry dates.

How to change expiration dates on internet coupons

Dell promo gift card expired california law deal. Gift Cards Expiration Laws — A State By State Review On a state-by-state basis, the biggest differences consumers face are the rules governing fees, the rules on whether balances escheat — that is, return to — the state if unclaimed, the rules on whether cards can be reclaimed for cash, and the rules on whether a legal definition separates gift cards and gift certificates. Dell promo cards aren't gift cards - Consumer Alert Expired rebate card