ASSEMBLY, No. 3330

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED OCTOBER 7, 2010

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  NANCY F. MUNOZ

District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Mandates that gift cards and certificates be redeemable at full value in perpetuity; places requirements on establishments accepting store gift cards.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning gift cards, gift certificates, and store gift cards and amending P.L.2002, c.14.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 1 of P.L.2002, c.14 (C.56:8-110) is amended to read as follows:

     1.    a. A gift certificate or gift card sold after the effective date of this amendatory act shall retain full unused value until presented in exchange for merchandise, or shall have any and all conditions and limitations, as permitted in paragraphs (1) through (3) of this subsection, disclosed to the purchaser of the gift certificate or gift card at the time of purchase as provided in subsection b. of this section.

     (1)   [In no case shall a] A gift certificate or gift card [expire] [within the 24 months immediately following the date of sale] shall be redeemable at full face value in perpetuity .

     (2)   No dormancy fee shall be charged against a gift certificate or a gift card within the 24 months immediately following the date of sale, nor shall one be charged within the 24 months immediately following the most recent activity or transaction in which the certificate or card was used.

     (3)   A dormancy fee charged against a gift certificate or gift card as permitted by this subsection shall not exceed $2.00 per month.

     b.    The terms of any [expiration date or] dormancy fee applicable to a gift certificate or gift card, as permitted by subsection a. of this section, shall be disclosed to a consumer by:

     (1)   written notice of [the expiration date or] any dormancy fee [or both] printed in at least 10 point font, on the gift certificate or gift card, or the sales receipt for the certificate or card, or the package for the certificate or card; and

     (2)   written notice, in at least 10 point font, on the gift certificate or gift card, or the sales receipt for the certificate or card, or the package for the certificate or card, of a telephone number which the consumer may call, for information concerning any [expiration date or] dormancy fee.

     c.     A retail mercantile establishment, at which a store gift card is redeemable, shall:

     (1)   upon request, disclose to the consumer the remaining value of a store gift card; and

     (2)   permit a transaction in an amount that is less than the remaining value of a store gift card.

     d.    As used in this section:

     "Dormancy fee" means a charge imposed against the unused value of a gift card or gift certificate due to inactivity;

     "Gift card" means a tangible device, whereon is embedded or encoded in an electronic or other format a value issued in exchange for payment, which promises to provide to the bearer merchandise of equal value to the remaining balance of the device.  "Gift card" does not include a prepaid telecommunications or technology card, prepaid bank card or rewards card;

     "Gift certificate" means a written promise given in exchange for payment to provide merchandise in a specified amount or of equal value to the bearer of the certificate.  "Gift certificate" does not include a prepaid telecommunications or technology card, prepaid bank card or rewards card;

     "Merchandise" means and includes any objects, wares, goods, commodities, services or anything offered, directly or indirectly, to the public for sale; 

     "Prepaid bank card" means 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 usable at multiple, unaffiliated merchants or at automated teller machines, or both, but shall not include a card issued by a retail merchant;

     "Prepaid telecommunications or technology card" includes, but is not limited to: a prepaid telephone calling card; prepaid technical support card; or prepaid Internet disk distributed to or purchased by a consumer; [and]

     “Retail mercantile establishment” means any place of business located in this State where merchandise is exposed or offered for sale at retail to members of the consuming public;

     "Rewards card" means 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 ; and

     “Store gift card” means a gift card that is redeemable at a single retail mercantile establishment or an affiliated group of retail mercantile establishments that share the same name, mark or logo.

(cf: P.L.2005, c.254, s.1)

 

     2.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill provides that gift cards and gift certificates be redeemable at full face value in perpetuity.  The bill also creates a separate category of “store gift card” which is a gift card that is redeemable at a single retail mercantile establishment or an affiliated group of retail mercantile establishments that share the same name, mark or logo. As to store gift cards, the bill requires a retail mercantile establishment, at which a store gift card is redeemable, to: (1) upon request, disclose to the consumer the remaining value of the store gift card; and (2) permit a transaction in an amount that is less than the remaining value of the store gift card.