Vermont Changes Its Gift Card Laws to Provide Exemptions for Incentives

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Vermont has changed its gift certificate laws to extend expiration date requirements from three to five years and to change the way loyalty, award, and promotional cards are treated.

Vermont has amended its gift certificate laws (Vt. Stat. § 2701, et seq.), adding key provisions relating to loyalty, award and promotional certificates, as well as embracing the model of gift certificates that contain both a paid and a promotional value (the so-called “Groupon” model, after the popular web-based group coupon company). Act 136, House Bill 730, also increased the minimum time period until expiration for non-exempt gift certificates from three to five years, and both added and removed exemptions from the statutory requirements relating to expiration dates, fees and disclosures. The amendment is effective as of the enactment date, May 18, 2012.

The changes appear to bring Vermont’s laws more in line with federal laws and regulations, though companies looking to offer any kind of cards in Vermont should look carefully at the state laws, as the CARD Act includes provisions that state laws take precedence over federal laws if they are deemed to be more protective of cardholders.

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