How to safely navigate the new rules for gift card sales

August 23, 2010, Albuquerque, NM – The new Credit CARD Act was originally promoted as not affecting small businesses, but this leaves out big changes in gift card sales. Small businesses of all stripes are dependent on gift card sales as important revenue to their business. Starting Aug. 22, 2010, all businesses must comply with the new requirements for gift card sales.

BoomTime’s guide to the Credit CARD Act for gift card sales helps small businesses navigate through these rather complex rules. Many small businesses are accustomed to selling gift cards with one year expiration dates, which is no longer allowed under the CARD Act. However, there are some important exceptions that can be invaluable to the spas, restaurants and other small businesses dependent on this form of revenue.

“We’ve have researched this new law extensively, and have created clear guidelines for small businesses that allow them to easily comply with the new law,” said Bill Bice, BoomTime’s founder and CEO. “The law is more complicated than it appears at first blush, including interaction with state law and important exemptions that can really help small businesses.”

The new law sets a five-year minimum term for most gift cards sold in the U.S. The new law does not shorten any minimum terms required by state law. The new law only lengthens terms that were previously less than five years to the new federal minimum term. If your state had a minimum term of seven years (i.e., Massachusetts) or does not permit any expiration date (California, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington), those terms still apply to gift card sales. Otherwise, the new minimum gift card term is five years from date of issue, with some important exceptions.

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