SEATTLE — If you’ve ever bought or received a gift card from a business that has since shut down, you might be wondering if it’s possible to get any of the money back.
In Washington, the answer is yes, thanks to state law, but it’s not a guarantee.
Businesses in Washington are supposed to report any unredeemed gift cards to the state in unclaimed property, and right now, the state is holding millions of dollars in unclaimed gift certificates.
In Washington, all you have to do is send an email with your name, the name of the business, the account number on the gift card, and the amount to the Unclaimed Property Division at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If possible, you should include a picture of the front and back of the gift card in the email.
The state will then let you know if the business reported the unredeemed gift card and if you can get any money back.
While gift cards are wonderful ways to help support businesses when they are not getting a lot of foot traffic, the Better Business Bureau said you shouldn’t hold onto gift cards for long. The best thing to do is to spend the gift cards quickly because nothing is guaranteed.
Click here to see FAQs and answers about unclaimed property from the Washington State Department of Revenue.
Do you have a question or concern about money during the coronavirus pandemic? Email us at email@example.com.