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Minnesota Gift Card Laws

Minnesota Consumer Protection Laws

Minnesota has enacted strong legislation regarding gift cards that will help to protect consumers. Under Minnesota law, gift cards cannot have an expiration date or any after sale fees. Exceptions include bank cards, phone cards and cards given away for free as part of a promotional or fundraising event. Dormant gift cards do not escheat to the state.

Minnesota legislation provides consumer protection that is better than most states with regard to gift cards. The state laws surpass the federal laws for protection. We encourage Minnesota to keep up the good work and to strive to keep improving and providing better protection.

About Minnesota

On May 11, 1858, Minnesota became the 32nd state. Little House on the Prairie author Laura Ingalls Wilder lived near Walnut Grove, Minnesota. The first open heart surgery and bone marrow transplant both happened in Minnesota. A special "thank you" to Minnesota for bringing us the stapler. Due to its having more than 15,000 lakes, Minnesota has more shoreline than California, Florida and Hawaii combined. The original name for the capital of Minnesota was Pig's Eye but the name was changed to St. Paul in 1841.

Minnesota Statistics

  • The US Census Bureau informs us that more than 5.3 million people make their home in Minnesota. Approximately 74 percent of Minnesota residents own their own homes and 11 percent live below poverty level. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that Minnesota's unemployment rate continues to drop and is now at 5.3 percent, the lowest since 2008.

Minnesota's Consumer Protection Laws

To learn more about what Minnesota is doing to protect the consumer visit the Office of the Attorney General

Buying A Gift Card

When you purchase a gift card, save the receipt of the purchase and keep it in a safe place separate from the card itself. When you start to use it, save the receipts as well until you have used the card up. Why do this? If you lose your card it's like losing cash, you are generally out of luck. Sometimes a merchant may replace the card if you can prove you purchased it and show how much was spent.

Sell Your Gift Cards?

From a consumer point of view gift cards make sense. You buy a card that can be given as a gift and is nicer than just receiving cash. Why would a store offer gift cards? Simple – it's very profitable. Producing a gift card is very low cost. When a consumer buys one they are giving the store money for a card or certificate that can be redeemed later for goods or services. Billions of dollars' worth of gift card funds go unused every year. If you are a store owner and sell someone a gift card and they never redeem it or only redeem part, then that maximized your profit.

What's Happening in Minnesota Today