Gift Cards and Gift Certificates

Generally, the Department does NOT regulate gift cards or issuers of gift cards.  The following is provided for informational purposes to assist Georgia consumers.

When you buy a gift card, you should be aware that the terms and conditions may differ depending on the seller or provider of the card.  Some important questions you can ask include:

  • What is the redemption policy?  Can the gift card/certificate be redeemed for cash or must it be used for merchandise?  Is there any merchandise that is not available for purchase with a gift card or gift certificate?
  • Is there a local store where this can be redeemed?  Can this be redeemed on the internet?
  • Will a new card or certificate be issued for any remaining balance once the original card or certificate has been redeemed?
  • Can the recipient add value or “reload” the gift card?
  • Are there any service or inactivity fees?
  • Will the card or certificate be honored if it is lost or stolen?

In 2005, the Georgia legislature passed a law intended to protect consumers who buy and receive gift certificates or gift cards.  This law, called the Gift Card Integrity Act of 2005, requires the providers or issuers of most gift cards to provide certain information, including any terms and conditions, an expiration date, and any dormancy or non-use fees, to consumers.  O.C.G.A. § 10-1-393(b)(33).[1]   If an entity governed by this law fails to comply with these provisions, such failure is considered an unfair or deceptive practice.  This should be reported to the Georgia Attorney General’s Department of Consumer Protection via

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) has written a blog about giving and receiving gift cards at



[1] To access these laws or any part of the Georgia Code, please visit the Georgia General Assembly and type in the relevant Code Section (e.g., “10-1-393”) into the provided search bar. (Links off-site)

The Code is provided by the State of Georgia from the Georgia General Assembly's website. In viewing the Code, please be aware that legislation passed during the most recent legislative session may not yet be posted on LexisNexis.