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Business Briefing / Consumer Finance

AmexEx drops a gift-card fee

October 01, 2009|Times Wire Reports

American Express said it would immediately eliminate monthly fees on gift cards.

Until now, the remaining value of an American Express gift card that was more than a year old declined by $2 a month.

Gift cards have come under fire in recent years because they often come with fees for services such as activating or replacing them. Many also have expiration dates.

The credit card law that President Obama signed in May prohibits gift cards from expiring for the first five years. Fees can't be assessed unless a card has been dormant for at least 12 months. The gift-card provision of the law takes effect in August 2010.

Alpesh Chokshi, a gift-card executive at American Express, said the new law governing gift cards did not influence the company's decision to drop the monthly fees.

"What we're doing here is going far, far beyond that and saying there will never be monthly fees," he said.

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