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New Jersey Amends Gift Card Law: Restricts Expiration Dates and Fees

January 2006
Client Alerts/Reports

New Jersey enacted Assembly Bill 1079 which amends the state’s existing gift card law in several important ways. The new law takes effect April 4, 2006 (although the provisions relating to the font size of disclosures will not be enforced against a gift card or gift certificate that is issued on or before January 4, 2007).

The new law will

  • prohibit gift cards and gift certificates from expiring within 24 months of issue;
  • prohibit charging dormancy fees within 24 months of issue or within 24 months of the most recent transaction; and
  • prohibit dormancy fees that exceed $2.00 per month.


In addition, gift cards and gift certificates will not expire and will not be subject to dormancy fees unless the following disclosures are made at the time of purchase: the terms of expiration dates and/or dormancy fees and a telephone number a consumer can call for information on expiration dates and dormancy fees must be printed in at least 10 point font (1) on the gift card or gift certificate, (2) on the packaging for the gift card or gift certificate, or (3) on a sales receipt.

The terms “gift card” and “gift certificate” as used in the statute do not include:

  • a prepaid bank card (defined as a general use, prepaid card or other electronic payment device that is issued by a bank or other financial institution, or a licensed money transmitter, in a pre-denominated amount useable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants or at automated teller machines, or both, but does not include a card issued by a retail merchant);
  • a prepaid telecommunications or technology card (defined as including but not limited to a prepaid telephone calling card, prepaid technical support card, or prepaid internet disk distributed to or purchased by a consumer); or
  • a rewards card (defined as a card or certificate distributed by the issuer to a consumer pursuant to an awards, loyalty, rewards or promotional program, without any money or other consideration or thing of value by the consumer in exchange for the card or certificate).

The New Jersey law is the latest in a growing trend of state laws that restrict or prohibit expiration dates and dormancy fees on gift cards and gift certificates.


This client alert is a publication of Loeb & Loeb and is intended to provide information on recent legal developments. This client alert does not create or continue an attorney client relationship nor should it be construed as legal advice or an opinion on specific situations.

Circular 230 Disclosure: To assure compliance with Treasury Department rules governing tax practice, we inform you that any advice (including in any attachment) (1) was not written and is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalty that may be imposed on the taxpayer, and (2) may not be used in connection with promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed herein.