Alert
Close

Help Decide the Future of Aging. Join the White House’s Live Stream From Cleveland Monday. Learn more

Highlights

Open
Renew for 3 and attend Life at 50+ for free

Contests and
Sweeps

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation!

Hawaii, the Grand Canyon or an Alaskan Cruise! No purchase necessary. Ends May 31. See official rules.


Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation
Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Ask the Experts

When Do Gift Cards Expire?

Generally in 5 years from date of purchase, but fees can erode value after 12 months

Q. I'm thinking about getting my grandchildren gift cards for the holidays. But I'm concerned about expiration dates. What's the shelf life of a gift card?

Holiday gift cards generally expire within five years - image of gift card

A gift card should be used sooner rather than later. Wait, and fees could eat away at its value. — Photo by iStockphoto

A. Under federal law, a gift card cannot expire in less than five years after the date of purchase. But if it’s not used within 12 months, fees for inactivity, dormancy or service can be charged to the card each month, diminishing its value. Those fees must be disclosed to the user in advance, and no more than one fee can be charged per month. So make sure that you — and your grandchildren — understand when the fees will kick in so that the full value of their cards can be used.

You may also like: Give a gift — not a grift — card. >>

Carole Fleck is a senior editor at the AARP Bulletin.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Credit safeguards with AARP® Identity Theft Protection from TrustedID®.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Man using cell phone outdoors

Members save on monthly service & usage fees and get free activation with Consumer Cellular.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advertisement

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.