Governor Jay Inslee this week signed House Bill 1727, prime sponsored by Representative Amy Walen (D-Kirkland), into law. It protects both retailers’ loyalty programs and clarifies gift cards and certificates. WR supported the legislation through the process.
Many retailers issue both gift cards/certificates and loyalty programs and cards. A gift card has value that someone has paid for while a loyalty card has no cash value and is an incentive to shop at a particular retailer for special deals and discounts. HB 1727 makes it clear that gift cards and certificates have no expiration date or dormancy fees. It also makes clear that loyalty cards/programs can have an expiration date so that a retailer can roll out a new program or cancel one that has little interest.
We appreciate Representative Walen, a retailer by trade, working with us to make this important distinction and improving the retail shopping experience.
The bill goes into effect on July 1, 2019.