New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte is warning consumers to beware of some retail gift cards that can lose value almost before your eyes.
A state law forbids stores from subtracting fees from gift cards and gift certificates. And cards and certificates issued by stores may not expire.
However, gift cards issued in New Hampshire by out of state banks are not subject to the law. Ayotte says one New Hampshire mall operator offers gift cards, issued by a national bank, that charge a $2.50 fee each month, starting a year after the card is issued.
So a $25 gift card would be worthless 22 months after it was issued. The same card also has an expiration date.
Ayotte says most gift cards follow the state law, but that consumers should read the fine print and ask questions. And those who receive the cards should plan to spend them quickly if they are subject to any fees or expiration dates.