Gift card tomfoolery

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I have a theory and wonder if anyone knows anything about this. I’m sensing that gift card vendors are doing an end-run around the rules, and unfortunately what I think they’re doing is probably entirely legal.

In case you didn’t know, the State of Florida invoked legislation that requires no expiration on gift cards, and specified amounts can’t be deducted on a regular basis after a certain date has passed.

What I’m thinking is starting to happen is that Florida’s change in law only applies when these cards originate from Florida, and vendors are taking advantage of this. I’ve received two different Visa gift cards, and I discovered several days ago that the older of the two had reduced in value from $30 to $21.15 without my having used it (a $2.95 deduction per month starting six months after acquisition). My supposition is that vendors do whatever they can to no longer release cards that originate in Florida, even if they ultimately end up in Florida. Ergo, when a person procrastinates at using the card, the vendor still gets to subtract value from the card and pad their bottom line.

Dear friends and family, I appreciate gifts I’ve received from you. In the future, please do one of the following:

  1. Use cash or a check.
  2. credit (it doesn’t expire).
  3. Confirm beyond all doubt the gift card you’re picking up originated from Florida and is not subject to expiration or balance subtraction.

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