Did you get a gift card for the holiday? I did. I love them. This way, I can buy whatever I need, of course up to the limit, and I think that not only makes me happy, it makes the giver happy as well.

I have given my wife gift cards for holidays and birthdays as well, and sometimes I have to nudge her to spend it if she hasn't in a few months' time. I just get nervous there is some type of time limit or charge if it's not used after a certain amount of time.

Last week, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli released a notice that New Yorkers spend any gift cards they've received in a "timely fashion." What he means is, if you don't spend that money on your gift card just may end up in the Office of Unclaimed Funds. That doesn't sound like a good thing.

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According to State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, in 2021 the amount of money returned from gift cards was around $16 million dollars. In 2014, it was about half that amount, so there's been quite an increase in unused funds.

If you are like me, you don't really care to read the fine print on gift cards, but State Comptroller DiNapoli suggests you take the time to do so and look over any fee and/or expiration dates, plus it is a good idea to register the card with the retailer.

Things to remember in your favor - any gift cart you receive can't expire after the first five years of purchase, and many types of retail gift cards you may receive can't be charged an inactivity fee unless the card has been inactive for at least 12 months, according to State Comptroller DiNapoli.

By the way, his office currently has $17 Billion dollars in unclaimed funds, and you can visit the New York State Comptroller website to see if you are owed any money and for more information on gift card tips and safety.

via New York State Comptroller

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