New law extends purchase life of gift cards

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A new state law says gift cards sold in Tennessee can't expire fewer than two years after purchase and can't carry purchase or redemption fees.

States have been cracking down on gift card fees and expiration dates for a few years now after consumer complaints.

The state law that went into effect over the weekend includes an exemption that leaves out multiple vendor cards such as the CBL Malls' or American Express' gift cards. The law also doesn't address dormancy fees that retailers sometimes charge.

The law's sponsor -- state Representative Ben West of Nashville -- says there were objections to his original bill until he put in some exemptions, including the one for multi-vendor cards.

He says the legislature may go back and tweak the bill later after seeing how it works.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)