Almost every restaurant has a gift certificate or gift card promotion. Unwary restaurants may not be aware of the many state and federal laws severely limiting the ability to place reasonable restrictions on those gift cards. Violators may face fines and penalties or worse, lawsuits from gift card purchasers or recipients!
The federal law passed in 2009 prohibits expiration dates on gift cards unless the expiration is at least five years from the date of issuance or when funds were loaded onto the card, whichever is earlier. Even then, the terms of the expiration must be clearly and conspicuously stated, so no fine print.