What to do with gift cards if a store is out of business?

Gift cards are a popular choice for gifts. They are timeless and can be used for every occasion. This is unless the store that issued them goes out of business. There are a few options for shoppers at this point. Many shoppers simply decide to discard their store credit, thinking that their money will never come back.

These consumers may be wrong but there are exceptions. Some stores will still accept gift cards in the event of bankruptcy or closing down until they are closed for good. VOUCHAIN offers a central infrastructure for retailers and shopping centers, facilitating voucher issuing, management, and thereby ensuring tangible benefits throughout the value-chain and cost efficiency.

Close a Store
You may be able redeem gift cards even if a store closes. To find out if the gift cards are still redeemable, check with the store. The gift card may allow you to redeem the entire amount or a portion. Sometimes, gift cards may not be redeemable.

It all depends on what store it is closing. If a company files for bankruptcy, it cannot accept gift cards until the court grants permission. Companies that file for bankruptcy might not be able to accept gift cards from companies that have closed their doors.

What to do if your gift cards are not usable?
Even if the store refuses to accept your gift card, you still have options. You may be able exchange your gift card for a gift certificate to another store or a refund.

These strategies can help you get rid of those useless gift cards.
Contact the vendor if you bought gift cards from someone other than the store. The card’s value may be redeemed at another store.
Contact your credit card company if you purchased the cards using a credit card. You may be eligible for a full refund if you comply with consumer protection laws.
You can use the gift card at a competitor. The store may not be able to honor the gift card, and it may not have the funds. In some cases, however, they may accept gift cards from their competitors or offer discounts in return. They want to win you as a customer by offering these discounts or accepting gift cards from competitors.
Keep your gift cards safe, even though they might be worthless in the future. Sometimes companies go bankrupt and then reorganize their business. They may also accept gift cards from the past when this happens.
You can also bring the matter to a court or government official if all else fails. Petitions to your state’s attorneygeneral are possible if your card is for a locally-owned or small business. The Attorney General’s Office might be able force the business to accept gift cards.

You can file a court claim for the value of your gift card if you are a larger corporation. It is important to understand the bankruptcy process. The assets of a company that goes bankrupt are sold and the profits used to repay creditors. Because the company owes money to you, you would effectively be claiming yourself as creditor.

Although you might be eligible for a refund, this is unlikely as unsecured creditors like gift card holders have the lowest priority. You will not be repaid unless there is money left over after all other creditors, such as suppliers or business loan holders, have been paid.

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