HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) — With just a few days left till Christmas, many may be looking at buying gift cards. These days, they’re available for everything from clothing to food to online music.
Under a Massachusetts law passed in 2003, gift cards must be honored by businesses for at least seven years from the purchase date. To help people remember the purchase date, people can include the receipt with the gift card.
The law also states that if you’ve used 90% or more of the value, the business has to give you the balance in cash if you want.
If you’re never going to use a gift card or just want some fast cash, you can sell it to online companies like Plastic Jungle or Cardpool or Gift Card Zen. They pay a percentage of the face value. The percentage depends on the company and so it is wise to shop around. Gift Card Granny lets you compare the average percentages paid by different companies.
The same state law that applies to gift cards also applies to restaurant gift certificates. It does not apply to pre-paid phone cards.