As the holiday season approaches, many New York residents are stocking up on gift cards to gift to their friends and family, and the laws for gift cards in New York just changed.

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According to a report from Fox 5 New York, new legislation signed by Kathy Hochul is now in effect, extending expiration dates and limiting fees for gift cards.

Starting on December 10th, gift cards purchased in New York now won't expire for nine years, an increase from the five years of validity in the past. The changes also prohibit all fees for gift cards and gift certificates and if there's less than five dollars of value on the gift card, the recipient can convert it into cash.

Being able to take the cash option when under five dollars is a gift card game changer. There's a stack of gift cards in my childhood bedroom right now that didn't have enough money on them to use on something else. Most of them are probably expired by now, but under this new law I'd be able to take the cash from all of them and spend it on a bonus holiday gift for myself instead of letting them waste away in my "random items" drawer. And nobody is allowed to judge me for having a random items drawer because deep down, you know you have one too.

So if you're planning on getting somebody a gift card for the holidays, you can rest easy knowing that they're more valuable today than they were two weeks ago.

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