I recently found an old gift card that had expired and was thinking of throwing it out, but a friend of mine in the past had told me that in California, they’re not allowed to expire, so I decided to look into it.
A quick search found me this website: http://www.ncsl.org/research/financial-services-and-commerce/gift-cards-and-certificates-statutes-and-legis.aspx
You can see what the legislation is in your state. It looks like now gift card vendors have worked around expiration dates with dormancy fees.
Luckily for me, I had recovered $50 I thought I had lost. I just called up the company on the number that was on the card and they said they would send a replacement.