In my house, we have a drawer for all our gift cards.

Well, technically not a totally dedicated drawer. It also cohabitates with all of our to-go menus. Which is on purpose, because frankly most of the gift cards in our house are to restaurants. So we just pick a card and grab a menu. A little while later, we're either sitting at a nice spot having dinner, or we're on our way to pick up takeout.

Slice of pizza margarita lifted up
Olga Nayashkova

You probably have a collection of your own at home too. For that matter, I've even been known to be cleaning out a junk drawer and found another one. If you end up finding one kicking around your house, and you know it's from years ago at this point, is it still good? Does it ever expire?

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No way, Jose!

I know it feels sometimes like Maine is way behind on conveniences for its residents. We have high taxes, high cost of living, and wages that don't really add up to either of those things. But one way we are protected, is through the gift cards we buy. Maybe a shady business has told you they're no longer offering that old gift card of yours...

Gift Card isolated on white background. 3D render

Guess what? They literally have no right to do so. Maine law makes it very clear that all businesses must honor all gift cards, forever. The law basically makes it illegal to put an expiration date on a gift card. But it goes even further...

What if the business is closed?

If someone really wanted to press this issue, in Maine you can literally file a case against the former business in bankruptcy court. I can't imagine wanting to go to all that work for a free breakfast, but it's an option if you really need it. Not saying you'll win, but you've got options.


Here's the thing... businesses are just trying to make a buck. Personally, if I feel weird about using an old gift card, I don't. But I'm glad to know that if I really wanted to use it, the state has my back as far as getting my piece of the pie. In this current economic climate, I want all the pie I can get.

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