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Delta Air Lines Wants to Turn my Delta eGift Card Over to Abandoned / Unclaimed Property!

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Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


This is a first for me.

Delta has sent me the above letter that if I do not act – FAST – they are going to turn over one of my Delta eGift cards to abandoned / unclaimed property. Let’s dive into why this notice is not only post-worthy but also maybe RANT worthy! 😉

For many, many years you could buy Delta eGift cards as a way to get your Amex Platinum (consumer and business) or consumer Amex Gold yearly travel credits as a Delta flyer. That not only ended, but we have many reports of Amex even clawing back the credits if you have done this recently and even with CLOSED accounts. This really stinks as most elites have simply no good way to burn up these credits any other way and especially so during the COVID-19 crisis.

I posted a while back about how simple it was on Delta.com to check the balances on a number of Delta gift cards at once. But Delta’s “crack” team of IT subcontractors have had all the time in the world to break this useful page on Delta.dumb (oh, they also broke the last useful flight search booking page so now you are better off starting at other sites than Delta.com to search for flights). Now you have to keep adding “+Add Gift Cards” one after another.

I have for a long time ranted about the fact that Delta simply does not do much to help you keep track of your purchased Delta eGift cards. You can not enter them on your “My Delta” and you have to keep track of both the code and the pin (you can not change the pin btw). Also, you can not lump these into a simple “On Board” account if you will (hey, that would be something useful Delta – put the IT subcontractors to work on this, please!).

The only good thing that has happened as of late is something I blogged last year about this time that you can now use just about unlimited amounts of Delta gift cards to buy a single ticket. Yes, you have to call and with the current COVID-19 situation that could take a very, very long time on hold to get a rep. Ah, well.

So why is Delta sending out these letters? My guess is they legally have to. Clearly, as talked about above, they do not try to do anything good to help us keep track and thus this is the final step before they can unload them from the books.

Have you got one of these letters? Are you as irritated as I am that Delta is so unhelpful when it comes to keeping track of Delta gift cards? – René

Rene’s Points For Better Travel, a division of Chatterbox Entertainment, Inc. has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Rene’s Points For Better Travel and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

René de Lambert is a contributing writer and the founder of RenesPoints. He is an avid Delta and SkyTeam flyer who has held Delta’s top Diamond Medallion status for many years and flown millions of miles.

15 Comments

  1. laptoptravel Reply

    Perhaps this is an easy way for Delta accountants to write of liabilities, in order to make their balance sheets look better. That might make it easier to secure loans at a lower cost. Just a thought…but you know if I thought of it, Delta thought of it first!
    Great post!

  2. Barry Graham Reply

    Maybe they haven’t done this because gift cards aren’t intended to be bought in bulk to be used by the person who bought them? Most people are not going to have lots of gift cards.

  3. I got the same letter(s). 8 of them! I think what happened to me is that when I called in to redeem the gift cards (took about 90 minutes to do it over the phone) there is some back end process they do where they bundle the gift cards into a new gift card and then issue a ticket. I could be wrong though. Also, another data point is that the purchase dates of my GCs were all late 2016 and early 2017. Looks like your purchase was around the same time as well. Perhaps there’s a 3 or 3.5 year statute of limitation at play?

  4. Any idea if they get turned over to unclaimed property if it turns back into cash, or stays as a gift card?

  5. Nancy K BOUCHER Reply

    I see this as a great way to get rid of your gift cards. Once the state lists the cards in unclaimed property you can retrieve the money from the state by providing a notorized copy of the state form. Then you don’t have to deal with the limitations on using your cards anymore.

  6. I just got 6 of these letters, all from gift card earned in 2017. Four of these GC were used already and two were still good and I indicated as such. Hopefully these will be maintained. I got no letters for GCs earned after 2017. Maybe this is a three year thing.

  7. When something is turned over to the state’s unclaimed property division the liability cannot be written off, it still exists.

  8. Everyone,

    Yes, I wish DL would help us track these GCs, but please read on for an explanation and a way to hack these cards to cash.

    This is a legal requirement. Depending on your state, there are specified dormancy periods after which the value of unused gift cards MUST be turned over to the state. The same goes for uncashed deposit checks from a utility or from your health insurer or uncashed dividend checks. Stocks are required to be turned over as well if you do not vote in a shareholder election, cash a dividend check, or otherwise contact the company.

    States bank the money and collect the interest for their budgets, but the original value is always yours. Read on for the hack.

    The legal term is escheatment. I handled investor relations for a public company and it was a major headache to comply. And different states have different dormancy requirements so you can imagine there is an entire industry built around this. There are “finders” who scour the public records and offer to help you recover funds for 30%-50% of the value. There are audit firms who work for the states that try to uncover violations so that the states can get extra money in fines. The list goes on.

    NOW–here is how you can convert these cards to cash if you want. Go ahead and allow them to be turned over to the state. The state will hold the money and will send it to you once you file a claim. It is not a hard process, just somewhat time-consuming.

    You probably have some amounts already being held. There is a national data resource operated by the states that you can check (https://unclaimed.org/search-for-your-unclaimed-property-its-free/). You can also check with your states–generally, there is an unclaimed property section on the website of your secretary of State or Treasurer. Just search for “[your state] unclaimed property.”

    Have fund–something like 10% of Americans have some amount of unclaimed property.

  9. I got the same letter a while ago and I do have a number of gift cards from 2016-2017 of which I am aware. HOWEVER, I could not find the GC referenced in the letter so I called Delta. Delta refused to give me any help in retrieving it. They said they could not provide me with any information to allow me to use the GC. How absurd. They had enough information to track me down and ask if I still had it, but would not share the details. So, off to unclaimed funds it went.

  10. You should not be so harsh on Delta. This is probably required under the State Escheat Law which I assume is Georgia.
    With respect to the comments regarding to do this to remove liabilities from the Balance Sheet, why would they ever want to send cash to State? It is not written off.

  11. Or just take the uncomplicated way out and check the option for them to “…maintain the balance for me.” Assuming you’ll be flying Delta again in the future.

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