State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is encouraging Iowans to keep an eye out for gift cards as they tackle their spring-cleaning. “While tidying up the house this spring, make sure to look for any unused gift cards you may have lying around,” said Fitzgerald. “To prevent lost or abandoned gift cards from being turned over as unclaimed property and ending up in the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, find those gift cards and use the funds as soon as possible.”
Unredeemed gift cards account for billions of dollars’ worth of unused money. “Springtime may bring rain showers, but that doesn’t mean you should save your gift cards for those dreary days,” continued Fitzgerald. “Prevent your assets from becoming unclaimed property and get the full value of your gift cards by following these tips.”
- Check the expiration date. Some retailers do not honor gift cards after a certain period of time. Read the terms and conditions to see if any fees apply for unused funds.
- Keep the receipt. If the gift card is lost or stolen, companies may require proof of purchase to replace the funds.
- Use a gift card promptly. Don’t put it away and forget about it. Take advantage of the gifted funds.
- Spend the full balance. Doing so reduces the risk of missing out on even a portion of the money.
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, created by Fitzgerald in 1983, is Iowa’s program that returns unclaimed property to the rightful owners. Checking and savings accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance payouts, utility refunds and the contents of safe deposit boxes are all examples of property being held. Past and present Iowans can search at any time for no fee at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov to see if any belongs to them.