Virginia has limited legislation regarding gift cards. Any gift card or certificate with an expiration date and/or fees must include a contact number and website for information. Cards with an expiration date will escheat to the state after 5 years if unused. Virginia law does not offer any consumer protection regarding expiration date or fees but fortunately the federal CARD act mandates a minimum of 5 years for expiration dates and 1 year before any post sale fees can be assessed. These laws do not cover cards given as part of a promotional event or loyalty program.
The lack of consumer protection offered by Virginia is disappointing but we are encouraged by the federal law and hope that Virginia will work to improve their laws.
Virginia became the 10th state in the US on June 25, 1788. Virginia is known as the birthplace of a nation and the first settlement, Jamestown, is in Virginia. Tobacco is the major cash crop in Virginia. Eight US Presidents hail from Virginia: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor and Woodrow Wilson.
Over half of all the battles of the Civil War (2,200 out of 4,000) were fought in Virginia, which was where the capital of the confederacy was located. Approximately 1 in 4 workers in Virginia work for the US government. Virginia is also home to the Pentagon, which is also the largest office building in the world.
Virginia is home to over 8 million citizens according to the US Census Bureau.
Approximately 68.4% of Virginians own their own home and 10.7% live below poverty level.
The unemployment rate in Virginia is currently 5.5%.
Virginia's Consumer Protection Laws
To learn more about the consumer protection provided by Virginia, visit the Attorney General of Virginia.
To Mail Or Not To Mail?
Mailing a gift card to a loved one is generally safe, but remember to think of the gift card as cash. Generally you should not mail cash and you should be careful with mailing gift cards, which are treated just like cash. A thief may raid your mailbox looking for greeting card envelopes in the hope that someone sent you a card with cash or a card inside.
Get Your Card's Value
Approximately 40% of gift card recipients don't use the full amount on their card, usually leaving about $2.30 unspent. Between 2005 and 2011 approximately $41 billion in gift card money went unused. So there's one more reason a merchant issues gift cards – free money.