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Business and Financial Policies and Procedures

21.3.2 Report Expired and Unredeemed Stored Value Cards, Gift Cards, and Other Cards

Policy Statement

All University of Illinois System merchant units that sell prepaid cards must comply with various federal and state laws, including the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act, 765 ILCS 1026, which requires certain abandoned property be turned over to the State Treasurer.

Gift Cards/Certificates

Gift cards that meet the following characteristics are exempt from being reporting to the State Treasurer as abandoned:

  1. Issued on a prepaid basis primarily for personal, family, or household purposes to a consumer in a  specified amount;
  2. No dormancy, inactivity, or post-sale service fee;
  3. Balances never expire;
  4. Redeemable upon presentation for goods and services; and
  5. Unless required by law, may not be redeemed for or converted into money or otherwise monetized by the issuer.

Stored Value Cards

The balance of a stored value card is presumed abandoned on the latest of five years after:

  1. December 31 of the year that the card is issued or that additional funds are deposited to it; or
  2. The most recent indication of interest in the card by the apparent owner; or
  3. A verification or review of the balance by or on behalf of the apparent owner.

An issuer of a stored value card with no expiration date must honor the card indefinitely.

Other Cards

Other cards are presumed abandoned three years after the property (i.e. the cards) becomes distributable.  A card becomes distributable when the eligible user can request a refund and the card balance can be returned to the card holder. A card that does not allow refunds is never presumed to be abandoned and is therefore not subject to the procedure below.


To report abandoned stored value cards or other cards:

  1. At the end of each fiscal year, University merchant units must file a self-reporting with University Accounting and Financial Reporting (“UAFR”).  Information about any stored value cards or other cards presumed abandoned should include card number and balance, cardholder name and address, last activity date, and any extra information the unit deems appropriate.
  2. UAFR creates a journal voucher to transfer the balance of the abandoned stored value card to the unclaimed property account. Units may not retain any expired funds.
  3. UAFR will try to contact the cardholder to determine if they want to claim the card. If they do, University Payables will issue the cardholder a check for the card balance. If the cardholder cannot be found or does not want to claim the card, UAFR must offer the money to the State Treasurer for disposition. Units may not keep abandoned funds.
  4. Each year UAFR creates an annual unclaimed property report to be submitted to the State Treasurer's office along with the unclaimed money.

Additional Resources

Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed Property Act
See Unclaimed Property, AP & Payroll & Gift Certificates in Who to Ask for contact information.
Escheatment in Definitions

Analysis flowchart for CCC balance

Last Updated: April 29, 2020 | Approved: Senior Associate Vice President for Business and Finance | Effective: November 2008

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