Thanks to the Credit CARD Act of 2009 the following changes for gift cards went into effect this past Sunday, August 22:
Store gift cards and gift cards with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover brand logo sold on or after August 22, 2010 will be good for at least five years from the date the card is purchased. You can still be charged inactivity fees, but only if you haven't used your card for at least one year. Additionally, if the physical card expires before the five years is up you can get the balance transferred to a replacement card for free. For more details see the complete list of new rules for gift cards from the Federal Reserve Website.