Did you receive any gift cards over the holidays? If so, Illinois Treasurer Mike Frerichs is urging you to go ahead and starting spending.
Many people save their gift cards for a rainy day but Treasurer Frerichs says that’s not a good idea.
Frerichs says retailers and restaurants cannot charge inactivity fees on the gift cards they sell, but if a business closes, the card holder is usually out of luck. He notes there can also be problems with gift certificates for a particular company.
Frerichs says gift cards should be treated like cash. If they are lost or stolen, he says you should report it to the police since some retailers may issue a replacement card.