With the holiday season in full swing, many shoppers are looking for the best gift options for family and friends. Gift cards may seem like a simple solution, but BBB Serving Western VA is warning that some gift cards could carry high fees making them far from a good deal.
The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Fact-Sheet-Reforms-to-Protect-American-Credit-Card-Holders, which took effect in 2010, established standards that give consumers additional protections when using gift cards. The standards prohibit retailers from:
These standards apply to store gift cards and general use prepaid cards, which are often branded by payment networks such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
But there are some details the CARD Act doesn’t cover. For example, issuers can still charge fees every time the card is used, the balance is checked, a replacement card is requested or when customer service is called.
BBB recommends the follow tips before buying a gift card:
If you need more information, contact the BBB at (540) 342-3455 or (800) 533-5501. You can also visit www.bbb.org. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/BBB_WesternVA.