The State Treasurer is making an effort to protect Missourians from losing a commonly-gifted present. Click to hear KMZU’s Sarah Scott speak with Clint Zweifel:
Press Release from the Missouri State Treasurer’s Office
JEFFERSON CITY – The holiday shopping season is in full swing. Retailers are slashing prices, Black Friday shoppers are setting their alarms and family members are finishing their wish lists. For many, gift cards make an ideal gift for their loved ones. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel (ZWY-ful) is reminding Missourians to hold on to their gift cards, even the expired ones. After five years of inactivity, the remaining value of a gift card or certificate should be turned over as Unclaimed Property. This means gift cards never really expire in Missouri.
“Gift cards offer convenience and choice that many holiday shoppers find appealing,” Treasurer Zweifel said. “Unfortunately sometimes they don’t get used by the expiration date. Make sure you check my Unclaimed Property list when that happens. I hold nearly $7.3 million in Unclaimed Property from unused gift cards and certificates. This year my Unclaimed Property staff has returned more than $75,000 from expired gift cards or certificates. I encourage everyone to check my website for Unclaimed Property, the average account returned is $300 – money that would be helpful in holiday shopping.”
If a gift card owner believes an expired gift card may have become Unclaimed Property, they should first check with the business that the unused gift card was originally from to see if it is redeemable. If the business will not redeem the card or certificate, owners should then check www.ShowMeMoney.com to see if their name is listed. If the owner’s name is not listed on the website and he or she has a gift card or certificate with value a business will not redeem, the card owner should email Treasurer Zweifel’s office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Not all credit from gift cards and certificates is turned over with account owner contact information, so having the physical card or certificate may help an individual claim their property.
Since January 2009, Treasurer Zweifel has returned $176 million in Unclaimed Property to more than 590,000 account owners. There is currently more than $810 million in Unclaimed Property remaining to be returned to more than 4.7 million account owners, including 61 accounts with more than $100,000. Missourians may check for Unclaimed Property 24 hours a day at www.ShowMeMoney.com.
About Treasurer Zweifel’s Unclaimed Property
State law requires financial institutions, insurance companies, public agencies and other business entities to turn over assets to Treasurer Zweifel that belong to a customer, client, employee or other owner if there have been no documented transactions or contact with the owner for five or more years. Most Unclaimed Property consists of cash from bank accounts, stocks, bonds and contents of safe deposit boxes that have been abandoned. It also can include uncollected insurance policy proceeds, government refunds, utility deposits and wages from past jobs. Treasurer Zweifel does not handle real property such as land and houses or certain types of personal property such as cars and boats. There is more than $810 million in Unclaimed Property maintained by Treasurer Zweifel. Treasurer Zweifel never charges for the return of Unclaimed Property.