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Expired Gift Cards? They May Be An Unexpected Present

With the giving of gift cards ramping up for the holidays, the Missouri Treasurer's Office reminded residents that they never actually expire.

If you're like many Missourians, you probably can expect to receive a gift card or two for Christmas this year, perhaps to one of your favorite stores or just an all-purpose pre-loaded debit card. 

If you're also like many Missourians, you probably have some of these cards left over from last year, ones that were never used and are now expired. However, those out-of-date cards might just turn out to be an unexpected holiday gift.  

That's because gift cards and certificates never actually expire in Missouri and may end up labelled as unclaimed property by the Missouri Treasurer's office. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel offered some tips on how to redeemed expired cards in a recent press release. 

"It is important to remember that even if that piece of paper or plastic doesn’t get used by the expiration date it could be Unclaimed Property,” Zweifel said. “I have nearly $6.2 million in Unclaimed Property made up of unused gift cards and certificates. This year my Unclaimed Property staff has returned more than $107,000 from expired gift cards or certificates. Remember, the average Unclaimed Property account returned is $300 – money that would come in handy for all of us this holiday season.”

If a Missourian believes his or her expired gift card may have become Unclaimed Property, they should first check with the business that their unused gift card was originally from to see if it is redeemable.

If the business will not redeem the card or certificate, owners should then check www.ShowMeMoney.com to see if their name is listed. If the owner’s name is not listed on the website and he or she has a gift card or certificate with value a business will not redeem, the card owner should email the treasurer’s office.

Not all credit from gift cards and certificates is turned over with account owner contact information, so having the physical card or certificate may help an individual claim their property.

Since January 2009, Treasurer Zweifel has returned $136 million in Unclaimed Property to more than 436,000 account holders. There are 58 accounts with more than $100,000. Missourians may check for Unclaimed Property 24 hours-a-day at www.ShowMeMoney.com.

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