Beware of expiration dates when considering gift cards or rebates

Make sure to double check expiration dates on gift cards and rebates before making a purchase this holiday season With cash at a premium for many families looking to consolidate debt, Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper is making a point to warn consumers to be careful and not fall victim to expiring gift cards and rebates that could ruin a holiday gift.

Cooper warned that, in an attempt to lure customers to their shops, many retailers may offer discounted prices on numerous items, but require consumers to send mail-in rebates to third parties in order to get their refund.

However, he added that some refunds – or gift cards that may either be awarded by some retailers as a discount or purchased outright as a holiday gift – may expire unbeknownst to the consumer and render it useless.

"That’s money and time wasted if you don’t pay attention to the details or don’t follow through to see why the company never mailed the rebate," Attorney General Cooper said. "A little research can go a long way toward collecting what you’re due."

While Tennessee has a gift certificate law which prohibits gift certificates from having n expiration date of less than two years, Cooper added that there were still exceptions to the rule that must be looked for and considered by consumers before making any decisions on a gift card or rebate offer.

According to a recent survey conducted by the Retail Council of New York, gift cards/certificates were singled out as one of the more popular gifts for adults this holiday season, recently reported.