Consumer Watch: Gift card fraud

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 12, 2012 at 5:43 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Over the last few years gift cards have become one of the most popular presents given over the holidays. Monday, a new survey was released rating those gift cards. Good Morning Kentuckiana's Andy Treinen breaks it down, just click the video player above.

A couple of years ago federal rules were put into place to protect consumers from gift card fraud. This latest survey from bankrate.com seems to indicate they're working. Those rules require cards to stay open for at least 5 years and now 95 percent of cards surveyed don't even have expiration dates.

Here are other key findings of the survey:

-- Store branded gift cards charge fewer fees Than the all purpose versions issued by banks and credit card companies.

-- In fact 75 percent of cards offered by banks and credit card companies charge maintenance fees or dormancy charges. Those come if the card isn't used for 12 or more months. Only 2 percent of store branded cards charge those fees.

-- If it's re-loadable cards you're interested in shop around. Only half of retailers currently offer that option.

And if you have a store based card to a retailer where you'll never shop, consider trading those cards in for a percentage of the value. There are several gift card exchanges available on line.

If you have a consumer issue you’d like us to look into send an e-mail to:  consumerwatch@whas11.com

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