[First Reprint]

SENATE, No. 3498







Sponsored by:


District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)

Senator  NIA H. GILL

District 34 (Essex and Passaic)






     Requires gift card issuer provide certain protections to consumers.



     As reported by the Senate Commerce Committee on June 16, 2021, with amendments.


An Act concerning gift cards and supplementing P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.).


     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:


      1.   a.  Every gift card issuer in this State shall:

       (1) 1[prohibit the use or validation of a gift card worth more than $100 for 48 hours following the purchase or issuance of the gift card;

      (2)]1 immediately freeze 1[the] any remaining1 funds on a gift card upon receiving a 1purchaser’s1 report of fraud;

      1[(3)]  (2)1  provide a full refund to the purchaser after 1[48 hours of the purchase or issuance of the gift card] the conclusion of a fraud investigation,1 if fraud 1[is] was1 reported by the purchaser within 1[48 hours] two weeks1 of purchase or issuance of the gift card 1, provided however, the gift card issuer shall conclude its investigation not more than two weeks after the date the instance of fraud was reported1;

      1[(4)] (3)1 operate a hotline or an Internet website where a purchaser may 1review the issuer’s policies regarding gift card fraud and1 report instances of fraud;

      1[(5)] (4)1  at the time of purchase or issuance of a gift card, inform the purchaser of its policies regarding gift card fraud and the existence of a hotline or Internet website where the purchaser may report fraud;

      1[(6)   immediately freeze the funds on a gift card upon receiving a report of fraud;]1 and

      1[(7)] (5)1 maintain and provide to the purchaser upon request 1information including the amount of funds remaining on the gift card at the time the purchaser reports an instance of fraud and1 a list of time stamped disbursements of gift card funds if any funds were used prior to the purchaser reporting an instance of fraud.

      b.   The provisions of this section shall not be construed to apply to any small business.

      c.   1[A gift card issuer that violates the provisions of this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of $1,000, which may be collected and enforced by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety in a summary proceeding pursuant to the “Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999,” P.L.1999, c.274 (C.2A:58-10 et seq.)] It shall be an unlawful practice and a violation of P.L.1960, c.39 (C.56:8-1 et seq.) for any gift card issuer to violate the provisions of subsection a. of this section1.

      d.   As used in this section:

      "Gift card" 1[means a tangible device, whereon is embedded or encoded in an electronic or other format a value issued in exchange for payment, which promises to provide to the bearer merchandise of equal value to the remaining balance of the device] shall have the same meaning as provided in subsection d. of section 1 of P.L.2002, c.14 (C.56:8-110)1.

      “Issuer” means an issuer of a gift card, redeemable for, solely or a combination of, merchandise, services, and cash, that is any person, merchant, vendor, provider, or business association, excluding any small business.

      “Merchandise” means any objects, wares, goods, commodities, services, or anything offered, directly or indirectly, to the public for sale.

      “Purchase or issuance” means a transaction executed by the purchaser of a gift card that increases the value of a gift card.

      “Small business” means a business entity 1[that is] in this State which is1 independently owned and operated and not dominant in its field 1[, operates primarily within this State]1, and employs fewer than 100 full-time employees.


     2.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the fourth month after enactment.