On March 23, 2010, the Federal Reserve Board issued its final rule, a summary and analysis of the final rule, and the official staff interpretation of the final rule in connection with Title IV of the CARD Act (the “Final Rules” or “Rules”).  The Final Rules are comparable to the proposed rules that were issued in November 2009, and follow the gift card related provisions set forth in the CARD Act addressing fees, expiration, disclosures, and various exemptions.  Set forth in this Bryan Cave Client Alert is a brief summary of key provisions of the Rules.

The Rules set forth various restrictions and guidelines with respect to gift card fees, expiration dates, and disclosures.  The Final Rules apply to any gift certificate, store gift card, or general-use gift card (including any reward/promotional card or any virtual/online gift card) that is sold or distributed to a consumer on or after August 22, 2010.

The Rules may affect any retailer, restaurant, consumer product supplier, hotel or travel provider that offers gift or reward cards – including loyalty programs – to consumers.  The Rules apply to retailers, processors and financial institutions involved in the issuance, distribution and sale of various types of gift certificate and gift card products.