Frequently Asked Questions

LEAF Gift Card Service is Ending

Please note these important upcoming changes to our LEAF College Savings gift card service. As we strive to improve our offerings, this service will be discontinued in 2024. Here are the essential details you need to know:

Issuance of New Cards Ending: Please note that we will stop issuing new LEAF College Savings gift cards in May 2024.
Redemption Deadline: All existing gift cards must be redeemed by July 31, 2024.

Refund Procedures:
Unredeemed Cards: If you have any unredeemed gift cards after August 2024, we will process refunds back to the original payment method used during purchase. If the refund cannot be processed in this manner, a check will be sent to the address we have on file.
Transferred Cards: For any gift cards that were transferred to a 529 plan but could not be processed, we will issue a refund check for the face value to your registered address.

Actions Required:
If you are eligible to receive a check refunds for an unredeemed purchase or an untransferred card, please verify that your address on file is correct by clicking "Sign In", clicking on "My Account", then clicking on "Address" after closing this notice.

Support and Assistance:
If you have questions or need assistance regarding these changes, please contact us at [email protected]. When reaching out, kindly include your order number found in the email confirmation or the Recent Purchases section of your account.

We appreciate your understanding and support as we make these changes. Thank you for being a part of our efforts to support educational savings over the past decade.

What if the recipient, or their parent, doesn't have a 529 plan?

LEAF will communicate by email with the parent encouraging them to open a plan. Not only will the funds be FDIC insured in the parent or guardian's name upon redemption, many plans can be opened for as little as $25.00. So, a single LEAF gift card can make it possible for a parent to start saving for college today. LEAF will point the parent to several excellent resources to help them make a choice.

What if the recipient doesn't redeem the gift?

If, after three months from the date of purchase or scheduled delivery (whichever is later), the gift is not redeemed, LEAF can refund the face value (not including the issuance fee) to the purchaser’s original payment method. LEAF may also issue refunds as a result of a purchaser’s timely cancellation. Refunds can take up to ten (10) business days to process, depending on the type of request.

What if I change my mind? Can I get a refund?

If, within fourteen (14) calendar days of gift purchase, a purchaser requests a refund and the gift has not yet been redeemed, LEAF will refund the full face value and the issuance fee. For purchases of physical cards, if LEAF has not yet fulfilled the order, LEAF will also refund the shipping and handling fee. If, after fourteen (14) calendar days of gift purchase, a purchaser requests a refund and the gift has not yet been redeemed, LEAF will refund the full face value but not the issuance fee. Refunds can take up to ten (10) business days to process, depending on the type of request.

What if the parent redeems the card but doesn't transfer the funds to a 529 plan?

For gift cards redeemed-but-not-transferred after one year, during which time LEAF will send at least a reminder six (6) months from the date of dormancy and again thirty (30) days from dormancy, LEAF on behalf of CBW will issue a check in the amount of the card value minus fees and mail it to the recipient’s known address.

If after ninety (90) days the check is not cashed, CBW Bank will send the remaining value to the escheat / treasurer’s office of the state known for the recipient’s address.

The bank will charge an inactivity fee of $5.00 at the end of one year, and an escheat fee of $5.00 if the check is not cashed.

How long does it take for the bank to transfer the gift card value to a 529 plan?

The amount of time it takes to transfer the gift value varies. Typically, the process takes from three to five business days based on the day of the week the gift was purchased and when the card was redeemed. For example, if the card was purchased by credit card, gifted, redeemed and a transfer request was made all on a Thursday, the bank would probably receive the funds from the credit card company on Monday. Once the funds were received, the transfer process would be initiated on Tuesday and the funds dispersed to the 529 plan on Wednesday or Thursday. A recipient may redeem the gift on the same day it was purchased but the bank will make the transfer only after the funds are received.

Can the recipient, or their parent, transfer the funds into savings accounts or plans other than a 529 college savings plan?

Not at this time.

Can the recipient, or their parent, receive cash for the gift card?

LEAF does not offer a 'cash out' option to gift card recipients. LEAF’s goal is to make saving for college easier for parents, and easier for friends and family to participate. Only in cases where a card has been redeemed but not transferred after one year will the bank attempt to send the funds to the recipient by check.

What if the card is lost or stolen?

Please notify LEAF immediately upon discovery of a lost or stolen gift card. LEAF will replace the card at no charge except for a shipping and handling fee in the case of a physical card.

Are there other ways to give to a 529 plan?

Yes. Most 529 plans offer a paper form that can be submitted with a contribution for no fee to the gift giver. However, many forms require information such as the plan account number that the gift giver may not know. LEAF believes that by using the easy and simple gift card approach many more friends and family will contribute to a child’s college savings.

What fees are charged by LEAF?

Please visit Our Fees page by clicking here.

Why did I receive a check from SoFi/LEAF?

After one year, if the funds from a gift card have been redeemed but not transferred to a 529 plan or educational institution, we will issue you a check for the face value of the gift card, minus a check issuance fee of $5, per our Account Holder Agreement. That check will be mailed to the address which we have on file for you.