Consumers spend about $65 million in gift cards each year and fail to redeem $6.8 billion, reported Tower Group. Last year, New York state collected $9.6 million in gift cards. Some states treat unused gift cards as uncalaimed property and require retailers and third party gift card processors to keep a database on when gift cards are issued and used. They say this makes it easire for the owner of the gift card to get their money back. Additionally, some retailers sell the unused gift cards.
At a time when we are experiencing an economic crisis, we may see more of the states exercising this option to help offset the state’s deficit.