The Federal Reserve Board recently issued new federal regulations governing the provision of retail gift cards. Specifically, the new Rules amend Regulation E of The Electronic Fund Transfer Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1693, et seq., which, in conjunction with the recently promulgated Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility Disclosure Act of 2009 (the “CARD Act”), requires greater transparency for retailers seeking to impose fees (such as dormancy fees for non-use) and/or expiration dates on users of gift cards. The new Rules, originally slated to take effect on August 22, 2010, apply to both retail cards sold for store credit and cards issued through loyalty or other reward programs.
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