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Gift Card Inactivity Fees - Grrrr

July 14th, 2017 at 03:38 pm

As part of his Christmas bonus MO got 2 $250 Visa Giftcards from his employer. We hadn't used them yet, I prefer to save things like that and use them for something special instead of just frittering them away. But I knew they assessed inactivity fees if the cards aren't used within 12 months, so we were going to make sure that we at least used them once by December of this year.

Yesterday MO was going to town to run some errands and our CC bill for the month is already pretty high due to car repairs, so I suggested he take one of the Visa Giftcards for the errands and that way they will be activated. He called the 800 number on the cards to confirm the balances and found out we had already been charged $14.50 per card in inactivity fees! Apparently the employer had purchased them many months before they were given to us! Which of course we hadn't thought about. So we lost $29 due to that. Frown MO did use some on each of the cards yesterday so we won't get any more fees for another 12 months at least.

We plan on taking at least one of the GCs with to Vegas to pay for eating out as that should be pretty much our only expense other then gambling.

So lesson learned! Don't assume GCs that you receive were just recently purchased!

5 Responses to “Gift Card Inactivity Fees - Grrrr”

  1. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    Wow, I thought all US states had outlawed that kind of fee.

  2. snafu Says:

    I too believe the law changed, state by state.
    http://consumersunion.org/research/state-gift-card-consumer-protection-laws-2013-update/

    Certainly worth requesting fee for two cards be waived for goodwill since it was gifted by employer, and DH had no way of knowing expiry

  3. LuckyRobin Says:

    I thought inactivity fees could only be assessed after the card had been activated and not used, not before it was activated.

  4. rob62521 Says:

    That just stinks! Sorry it happened.

  5. HouseHopeful Says:

    I second calling and asking - it never hurts. When it comes to those types of gift cards - I use them for household items and save the cash for a big purchase when I actually want to use it! I find that easier in the long run than worrying about fees, etc. Just a suggestion Smile

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