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California Gift Card Laws

California Consumer Protection Laws

California Civil Code section 1749.45, 1749.5, 1749.5(b) and California Code of Civil Procedure, section 1520.5 covers gift cards for individual retailers as long as general use gift cards have the expiration date clearly printed on the card. For these cards, expiration dates are prohibited and fees are only allowed if the value is under $5 and the fees are less than $1, or is the card is inactive for 24 months, reloadable, and the fees are printed and visible on the card.

California's law fills one of the gaps left by the Federal CARD Act and provides much-needed protection to the state's consumers.

About California

California is the most populated state in the country, with more than 37 million residents, as well as the third largest. The Golden State achieved statehood in 1850 and is recognized throughout the world as the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood movies, Los Angeles traffic and earthquakes. California is also known for Silicon Valley, where countless technological innovations have developed. And California has a long list of famous governors, from the 33rd governor and former President Ronald Reagan, action hero Arnold Schwarzenegger, and gone and back again Jerry Brown.

California Statistics

  • The Average Income is a healthy $61,632 while the national average is $52,762. However, California has a high cost of living, high property values and high insurance rates, which contribute to a home ownership rate of only 56.7%, almost 10 percentage points below the nation average of 66.1%.
  • California has one of the nation's largest Asian populations, at 13.6%, as well as a large Hispanic or Latin population, at just more than 38%.
  • With a total population more than 38 million, it's no wonder California averages 239 people per a square mile (the national average being 87 people per square mile).

California's Consumer Protection Laws

Discover consumer protection laws and other important legislation by contacting the California State Legislature.

Golden State Gift Cards

Gift cards make excellent gifts for any occasion, especially when welcoming out of state visitors. The next time you have a visitor from out of town that wants to visit a tourist spot, purchase a gift card that they can use at their destination. Theme parks, movie studios, and other great destinations often have discounts or special offers with the purchase of their gift cards.

Keep Gift Cards Safe

When visiting large cities or tourist spots, be sure to guard your gift cards like you would your cash. If you have a purse, be sure its secure, and if you have a wallet, put it in the front pocket so it will be harder to take. When making purchases, be discreet and don't flash your cards around. Remember, unlike credit cards, if your gift card is stolen, you may not be able to cancel it.