Earlier this week, the Oregon House passed Senate Bill 756 (alredy passed by the Senate). This Bill makes an important change to Oregon Gift Card Law and it will help ensure consumer get the full value of their gift cards.
Cash Back For Gift Cards Less Than $5
I've written about this SB 756 twice before. A quick racap:
SB 756 prohibits the sale of gift cards which cannot be redeemed for cash if the balance is less than $5 and the gift card has been used at least once. In other words, this bill is not retroactive and that gift card in your drawer from 7 years ago cannot be redeemed for cash. Only gift cards which are sold after the effective date are included under these new laws. Assuming the Govener signs the bill the effecitve date will be on January 1st, 2012.
Also, "cash" means check or cash.
The House Adds An Exclusion
The House added an interesting amendment to the bill. From what I can determine, they've excluded a redemption method for certian gift cards. Specifically:
"Gift cards redeemed to an online account for the purchase of goods or services."
I believe this excludes a gift card as soon as you enter it into an online account where the balance is stored. For example, if you have an Amazon Gift Card, it can only be redeemed online by entering it into an online account. After doing this, the balance will remain and you'll no longer able to request cash back Amazon.com.
Frankly, this is an odd exclusion and it's the first time I've seen an exclusion based on how a gift card is redeemed.
Cash Back Laws - A Tend To Continue
Oregon is close to joining nine other states which currently offer gift card cash back laws .These laws help consumers get every penny of their gift card's value.
These cash back laws are popular among consumers and I expect more states to enact similar laws in the future. I support cash back laws because they help make gift cards better for consumers and do not pose a significant burden to gift card issuers.