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Some state laws require that gift cards be redeemed for cash upon a customers request when the balance on the card is below a certain value. The states with gift Card Cash redemption requirements, and the value for cash redemption in those states, are listed below 

State Cash on request if balance below

 



State

Cash on request if balance below

California $10

Colorado $5

Maine $5

Massachusetts $5

Missouri $5

New Jersey $5

Oregon $5

Rhode Island $1

Vermont $1

Washington $5
 

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Closest state for me is 309 miles away.

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Why is this a hot deal?  Its been the law for years in many of these states.
eg California enacted its law in 2008, MA in 2009.
At Rite Aid  the card swiper automatically asks you if you want cash when your gift card balance is below the cash out threshhold.  Has done that for years too.

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quite a few csrs don't know this in CA...

All blue states

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I didn't know until now, I have a whole bunch of gift cards. Good info.

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does this work with store credit as well?

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mpv2accord said:   does this work with store credit as well?
At CVS, they told me it didn't apply to a CVS "Moneycard" that was from a return; those seem to be treated differently than gift cards.

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This becomes a hassle at 90% of stores, where the standard cashiers/CSRs have no idea about this law, don't know how to fulfill this request and will just tell you to call the 1800#. It would be nice if the laws included automatic statutory damages if a retailer did not comply. But as it is, it's a hassle for many retailers, and it's not enough funds to sue over.

HomeDepot is one store that does honor these laws, so if there was a way to buy up tons of small GCs at a discount and turn that into cash, it could be lucrative. Maybe a thread listing retailers who do comply with the law would be nice.

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I can see stores limiting gift card returns to limit cash churn. Similar to the way some stores do to returns without a receipt they ask for State ID. Their justification would be if you are cashing in so many then bring them in and we can "combine" them for you into a larger gift card.

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Mass Law Reads:

If Must be Under $5 AND 90% or more of a Gift Certificate has been used or redeemed, a merchant must give the consumer the choice between receiving cash OR maintaining the remaining balance on the Gift Certificate.

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/consumer-rights-and-resources/consumer... 

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novocane said:   This becomes a hassle at 90% of stores, where the standard cashiers/CSRs have no idea about this law, don't know how to fulfill this request and will just tell you to call the 1800#. It would be nice if the laws included automatic statutory damages if a retailer did not comply. But as it is, it's a hassle for many retailers, and it's not enough funds to sue over.

HomeDepot is one store that does honor these laws, so if there was a way to buy up tons of small GCs at a discount and turn that into cash, it could be lucrative. Maybe a thread listing retailers who do comply with the law would be nice.


  I never knew this existed in NJ and have NEVER been offered by any CSR.  However the NJ law states the following:

   Cash redemption requirement: New Jersey followed the trend of states like California by providing that if less than $5 remains on a gift card after redemption, the card owner can ask the merchant to redeem the remaining amount in cash.  This requirement takes effect on September 1, 2012.  Merchants that do not provide such cash redemption are subject to a penalty of $500 per violation, with such penalty subject to trebling if more than 100 violations occur in any 12-month period.  The failure to provide requested cash redemption for each gift card is considered a separate violation.  An issuer need not advertise the availability of a refund balance redemption, but can include the following disclosure on the card or marketing materials: “Not redeemable for cash except as required by law.”  This cash redemption requirement does not apply to a non-reloadable gift card issued for $5 or less, provided in lieu of a refund for returned merchandise, or redeemable at multiple merchants not under common ownership or control.

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my4mainecoons said:   Why is this a hot deal?  Its been the law for years in many of these states.
eg California enacted its law in 2008, MA in 2009.
At Rite Aid  the card swiper automatically asks you if you want cash when your gift card balance is below the cash out threshhold.  Has done that for years too.

  It isn't a hot deal!

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Looks like quite a few people didn't know about this law, so I think this is a hot deal!

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novocane said:   This becomes a hassle at 90% of stores, where the standard cashiers/CSRs have no idea about this law, don't know how to fulfill this request and will just tell you to call the 1800#. It would be nice if the laws included automatic statutory damages if a retailer did not comply. But as it is, it's a hassle for many retailers, and it's not enough funds to sue over.

HomeDepot is one store that does honor these laws, so if there was a way to buy up tons of small GCs at a discount and turn that into cash, it could be lucrative. Maybe a thread listing retailers who do comply with the law would be nice.

  This has been my experience.  Home Depot is really good about this and typically automatically returns you the cash on GCs of less than $10 (here in CA).  At every other retailer, I get the confused look or they have to call up a manager and then becomes a 5min process/headache.  HD has been the only place I've found to be a smooth experience.

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robstrash said:   
novocane said:   This becomes a hassle at 90% of stores, where the standard cashiers/CSRs have no idea about this law, don't know how to fulfill this request and will just tell you to call the 1800#. It would be nice if the laws included automatic statutory damages if a retailer did not comply. But as it is, it's a hassle for many retailers, and it's not enough funds to sue over.

HomeDepot is one store that does honor these laws, so if there was a way to buy up tons of small GCs at a discount and turn that into cash, it could be lucrative. Maybe a thread listing retailers who do comply with the law would be nice.


  I never knew this existed in NJ and have NEVER been offered by any CSR.  However the NJ law states the following:

   Cash redemption requirement: New Jersey followed the trend of states like California by providing that if less than $5 remains on a gift card after redemption, the card owner can ask the merchant to redeem the remaining amount in cash.  This requirement takes effect on September 1, 2012.  Merchants that do not provide such cash redemption are subject to a penalty of $500 per violation, with such penalty subject to trebling if more than 100 violations occur in any 12-month period.  The failure to provide requested cash redemption for each gift card is considered a separate violation.  An issuer need not advertise the availability of a refund balance redemption, but can include the following disclosure on the card or marketing materials: “Not redeemable for cash except as required by law.”  This cash redemption requirement does not apply to a non-reloadable gift card issued for $5 or less, provided in lieu of a refund for returned merchandise, or redeemable at multiple merchants not under common ownership or control.

  
There's an oppurtunity in NJ: Go after retailers who don't follow the law, document 100 violations and sue for 100 x $500 x 3 = $150,000. Too bad my state doesn't have statutory damages.
 

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In CA the law is there but there is no penalty for not doing it. From what I have read the only thing you could do is take them to small claims court, definitely not worth it.

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bc3000 said:   In CA the law is there but there is no penalty for not doing it. From what I have read the only thing you could do is take them to small claims court, definitely not worth it.
Helll waiting for an incompetent CSR to tell you no such thing exists and by the time manager comes over to move the transaction along, it isn't worth the additional 15.minutes to get 5 bucks of cash back.

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miserly said:   
bc3000 said:   In CA the law is there but there is no penalty for not doing it. From what I have read the only thing you could do is take them to small claims court, definitely not worth it.
Helll waiting for an incompetent CSR to tell you no such thing exists and by the time manager comes over to move the transaction along, it isn't worth the additional 15.minutes to get 5 bucks of cash back.

  but is it worth it for $9.99 back?  CA law is any amount less than $10

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frugalpete said:   miserly said:   
bc3000 said:   In CA the law is there but there is no penalty for not doing it. From what I have read the only thing you could do is take them to small claims court, definitely not worth it.
Helll waiting for an incompetent CSR to tell you no such thing exists and by the time manager comes over to move the transaction along, it isn't worth the additional 15.minutes to get 5 bucks of cash back.

  but is it worth it for $9.99 back?  CA law is any amount less than $10


Lol

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Or you can do this

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marcopolomle said:   Or you can do this
  Going to cost you...just don't know how much yet.

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