Changes to Disney Gift Cards begin today

Sep 30, 2014 in "Walt Disney World Resorts"

Posted: Tuesday September 30, 2014 11:37am EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Beginning September 30 2014, Disney Gift Cards will be undergoing a couple of changes.

First, the minimum amount that can be applied to activate a Disney Gift Card will be $15, up from the previous minimum of $5. The minimum reload amount will remain at $5 however.

A new visual look will also be introduced for the basic Mickey card, along with a new text banner. You will still be able to choose from a huge range of Disney Gift Cards at the website.

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DwarfulOct 07, 2014

I don't see a big deal in the jump up to $15. But I know lots of groups or organizations that give small rewards.....youth groups, Accelerated Reader programs, heck my daughter's orthodontist allows them to earn points for doing certain things and then cashing those points in for prizes or gift cards. I can see $5 for McD's or the movie theaters (our movies are $4 for anyone before 6 pm)..but I can see WDW saying $10 limit...I think $15 seems odd...but it is their choice.

dreamfinderOct 06, 2014

Many states are now requiring that gift cards cannot expire, and cannot have fees to use them either. (Pre-paid credit cards are still a different beast altogether though) So many stores just accept that policy nationwide instead of trying to figure out what happens if the card was bought in a state that requires non-expire, but reloaded in a state that allowed expire, but then used in yet another state that is non-expire. Etc.

MichWolvOct 06, 2014

The accounting entry at purchase is to recognize the cash as an asset and the obligation to honor the gift card as a liability in equal amounts. There is no sale recorded until the gift card is redeemed. As for the expiration, this is highly dependent on state law. In many/most states, gift cannot expire, although there can be a "non-use" fee of a reasonable amount that can erode the value. I don't believe Disney has such a non-use fee, perhaps because those fees are illegal in Florida (I don't know). For cards that do not expire, virtually all states require that, after a period of time, the issuer "escheat" the remaining funds by transferring to the state the remaining balances. Owners may then apply to the state for reimbursement.

MichWolvOct 06, 2014

You are indeed correct. Because the company still has an obligation to honor the gift card, it isn't revenue when purchased. It is an interest-free loan to Disney because you are paying in advance of getting the merchandise/services.

celluloidOct 01, 2014

Its actually supposed to be a law in place ow that gift cards cannot expire. At least that is what I hear and I have not seen a type that expires in a long time. section (2)1(a)

Mouse_TrapSep 30, 2014

That's pretty much my understanding, I think they may be counted for as sales, but then you need to account for them as a future liability. However these cards are often only valid for a set period....after which I guess you they cease to be a liability and then you have free money.

disney4life2008Sep 30, 2014

As long as they do not charge a fee I am fine with this change. I Are you kidding? Many places have $5 gift cards for sale.

TheRabbitSep 30, 2014

Not much at Disney you can buy now for $5.

HolleBolleGijsSep 30, 2014

It's money, but they can't count it as revenue. Until a gift card is used, it is considered "unearned revenue," and is actually a liability for the company. **This is according to my intro to accounting class. So feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Soarin' Over PghSep 30, 2014

I was given a Starbucks gift card with $2.86 loaded on it, via mail, to pay for the drink I bought and 'guest surveyed' it. I don't really get the jump from $5 to $15. But, ok.

ThemeParkJunkeeSep 30, 2014

Starbucks once sent out a $3.00 gift card to each of their stockholders along with the annual report.

MawgSep 30, 2014

I have gotten plenty of Starbucks $5 gift cards

MawgSep 30, 2014

Universal wouldn't do this

ABQSep 30, 2014

Either one of you forgot to add some sort of obligatory "Disney vs Universal" argument into the fold as well.