Can a business refuse to accept a gift card based on how it was obtained by the customer?

UPDATED: Feb 13, 2012

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Can a business refuse to accept a gift card based on how it was obtained by the customer?

We obtained a gift card amongst other things in a charity auction. We sold the gift card on-line. When they tried to redeem they were told it was non-transferable and non-sellable because of how it was distributed. Is this legal? Also, can they disallow the use of multiple gift cards in a single purchase?

Asked on February 13, 2012 under General Practice, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

My understanding is that under the laws of all states in this country, a gift card issued by a business must be accepted by it for purchase of merchandise. The only exception is if the gift card specifically states that it cannot be transferred or sold on its face.

Likewise, under the laws of all states, gift cards that have been issued and purchased are the equivalent of money and can be used as multiples in the purchase of an item.

From what you have written, it seems that the business that issued your gift card must honor it for a purchase.


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