New Jersey Gift Card Legislation Passes

According to Escheatable's contacts in the New Jersey State Government (read: the Internet) Governor Christie signed Senate Bill 1928 into law.  While it did not go as far as many hoped it would (by, for example, repealing all references to gift cards in New Jersey's unclaimed property law) it does provide some regulatory relief for gift card issuers.  In particular, this bill:
  • extends the dormancy period for stored value cards to 5 years (up from the current 2);
  • restricts the application of expiration dates and dormancy fees; 
  •  provides that retail gift cards are escheatable at 60% of the face value (thereby giving retailers the benefit of some profit margin).  Note that this does not apply to "general purpose" cards as defined in the legislation;  and
  • requires issuers to redeem cards in cash if there is a balance of less than $5
The full text of the legislation can be found here.  While the gift card industry's response to the bill is yet to be seen, already gift card provider InComm has announced that it will return to New Jersey.  The issuer previously left the state in April, citing the requirements of the unclaimed property law.

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