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We're the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.

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If my prepaid card expires, do I lose my money?

Answer:

In some cases, when your prepaid card expires, you might have to pay a fee so that you do not lose your money. Check your cardholder agreement to see if there are actions you need to take to prevent this loss.

If your prepaid card expires while you still have money on it, you may be able to request a replacement card to access the funds. You may also try to close out your account by requesting that your balance be mailed to you in the form of a check. The provider might charge you a fee for this. Be sure to check your cardholder agreement to see if you can get back the money that may still be on the card when it expires.

The rules for gift cards are different. Gift card funds must be good for at least five years under federal law, and some states laws give you more time. Under federal law, inactivity fees can only be charged after 12 months of inactivity and if other conditions are met. 

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The content on this page provides general consumer information. It is not legal advice or regulatory guidance. The CFPB updates this information periodically. This information may include links or references to third-party resources or content. We do not endorse the third-party or guarantee the accuracy of this third-party information. There may be other resources that also serve your needs.