SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Illinois retailers would be prohibited from issuing prepaid rebate and promotional cards with hidden fees under a measure introduced by state Rep. Theresa Mah, D-Chicago, which recently passed out of the House and now moves to the Senate.
“Rebate cards, which look like gift cards but are not regulated in the same way, often have activation or dormancy fees and other restrictions that diminish their value,” said Mah. “My bill ensures that consumers aren’t caught off guard by a high fee for checking the balance on their card, or if they forget to use it within a certain period of time.”
Mah’s House Bill 2156 prohibits businesses from offering rebate cards that charge fees to customers who make a specific purchase or as part of a loyalty program. The measure is an initiative of the Illinois State Treasurer’s Office.
“This is a straightforward consumer protection bill,” said Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs. “If a company promises a $100 rebate, then that is the amount the consumer should expect to receive. Instead companies are offering rebate cards that charge dormancy or inactivity fees to reduce or eliminate the amount promised to consumers.”
Mah is serving her second term representing the 2nd District, which includes the Chicago neighborhoods of McKinley Park, Pilsen, Chinatown, Bridgeport, Brighton Park and Back of the Yards. For more information, please contact Rep. Mah’s district office at 872-281-5775.