Pier 1 Accepts A 8 Year Old Expired Gift Certificate

Reader Kelley writes in with a happy story about Pier 1:

I finally have some Consumerist worthy news: My mother purchased a $100 gift certificate in 1998 from Pier 1 Imports and gave it to my grandmother as a Christmas gift. We found it the other day, still in a desk drawer after 8 years. It said that it expired 1 year after purchase date, but my mom brought it to the store anyway and spoke with an employee. The employee said she would honor the gift certificate, but only if my mother spent it right then and there. So my mom got a basket and happily walked around the store, eventually deciding on a set of glassware. I would think that many stores are pretty rigid about their gift certificate policies, especially after reading about how much they profit from certificate sales when you were writing about that over Christmas. I think Pier 1 deserves a Consumerist pat on the back.

So patted, Kelley. Way to go, Pier 1. —MEGHANN MARCO
(Photo: cmorran123)


Edit Your Comment

  1. pmm says:

    That’s very kind of them. Yay, Pier 1, and yay for Kelley’s family!

  2. gardencat says:

    It’s always good to hear about comsumers being treated right!

  3. acambras says:

    That’s cool.

    Not to take away from the employee’s coolness or anything, but it could be that Pier I (as a matter of company policy) had done away with gift certificate expiration dates sometime in the past eight years. Some states now have laws against expiration dates for gift certificates.

  4. jodamiller says:

    It’s great that they took it, but it seems that Pier 1 came out ahead. They took in $100 in 1999 and paid back out $100 in 2007. But adjusting for inflation, $100 of buying power in 1999 would equal $121 today. So Pier 1 made $20 out of the deal.

  5. Antediluvian says:

    I don’t know what state these people were in but if it was Massachusetts the store was just following the law (except for the “spend it NOW” part). No expiration date on gift cards or gift certificates issued in Mass, no fees or deductions for lack of use on gc’s issued in Mass, and amts

    So rather than being a touching story of an employee’s sympathy, it might instead be an astounding story of an employee actually following the law (again, except for the “spend it NOW” part).

  6. dohtem says:

    On a somewhat related note:

    I used to work at a Borders bookstore here in CA. One thing I learnt quick was that it was against CA law for giftcards to expire. Corporate would send out 2 kinds of gift cards, the ones that do not expire and the kind that expire after one year. Stores would get gift cards based on the laws of the state they were in. Well some how corporate goofed and sent the kind that expire to CA and we only found out a year later, when they started to expire.

    We honored the gift cards of course, we simply transferred the balance to new cards. But there were a lot of people that didn’t come in because they didn’t know about the law and they thought their gift cards had expired.

    And they were people that threw their cards out when they tried to use them in another state and the CSR told them it was expired, not knowing it was from a CA store.

  7. r81984 says:

    I do not see why a company would object, they made the $100 profit plus all the interest for 8 years.

    Also, technically that $100 gift certificate spent today is probably equivalent now to a $70 gift certificate spent 8 years ago.
    (Just a guess I did not actually calculate anything, but you get the point)

  8. gorckat says:

    Chil-Fil-A (at least the one I go too :p) accepts anything regardless of expiration. They sent out some coupons when they opened that expired 90 days later and accepted them about 1 year after that.

  9. That’s pretty cool. Here’s Connecticut’s law:


    The Connecticut General Assembly passed a Gift Card Law (www.giftcardlaw.com) effective August 16, 2003.

    The law prohibits vendors in Connecticut from imposing expiration dates or inactivity fees on gift certificates and retail gift cards purchased ON OR AFTER August 16, 2003. The law applies even if an expiration date or inactivity fees are described on the back of the card.

    NOTE: Expiration dates and inactivity fees still apply to any gift card or gift certificate purchased before August 16, 2003.

    Connecticut, you’re so groovy!

  10. infinitysnake says:


    Fresh Choice will do that, too.

    Bed, Bath & Beyond will also accept expired coupons, or “Linens n things” coupons.

  11. Chris says:

    Even without the interest on slow-used cards, gift cards are a sweet deal for the store. Did Mom spend exactly $100.00? If she comes out of pocket to spend more, the store profits. If she spends less, and leaves that balance on the card, the store continues to profit from the interest.

  12. apollonia666 says:

    Is there anywhere that gives a state-by-state list of gift card expiration laws?

  13. Kat says:

    CVS gives out those ExtraCare coupons if you have an ExtraCare card… just found out about a month ago that you can use them past the expiration date.

  14. krunk4ever says:

    In California and a couple other states, Gift Certificates are not allowed to be expired. Even if they say they are, stores are required to accept them.

    So in the event your gift certificate is expired, you can always use them on the next trip to California (and the those few other states which I don’t recall)

    //krunk (^_^x)

  15. KelleyMaria says:

    My mom spent $102 exactly and this happened in New York. I haven’t found the gift certificate laws for NY yet but my mom is very pleased with her new glassware.