Even though I’m a big fan of gift certificates, I have a tendency to “save” them for a rainy day. That wouldn’t be an issue, except for the fact that they often expire before I get around to using them. While unredeemed gift cards can be a boon to your spa, they don’t necessarily help you build your clientele. With the holidays drawing closer, gift cards and certificates are once again poised to stuff many a stocking. It’s important to note though that a new federal gift certificate law went into effect this past Sunday. It establishes a five-year minimum term for most gift certificates sold in the U.S. This new law doesn’t, however, shorten any minimum terms set by state law. So if you’re based in a state with a minimum term of seven years, such as MA, or in a state that doesn’t permit any expiration date (CA, CT, FL, ME, MN, MT, NH, RI, and WA), those terms still apply to your gift certificate sales. Otherwise, remember your clients now have five years from the date of issue to redeem their gift certificates. This new law is only applicable to gift certificates with a dollar value, not those redeemable for a service. To learn more about how the new Credit Card Act of 2009 may affect your spa, check out a recent blog on the topic at www.spaboom.com.