If you buy a gift card, buy it from a business you trust (if they close down in the middle of the night, you're probably out of luck) or from a big name retailer (if they close down, chances are you'll hear about it before it happens).
If you get a gift certificate spend it asap!
When it comes to buying a gift certificate/card, Oklahoma has clear laws on expiration dates. Here it goes:
The Gift Certificate and Gift Card Disclosure Act
Under the law, you cannot have an expiration date less than 5 years (60 months).
The expiration date does not apply to gift cards or gift certificates when:
1. the gift cards issued as an award, loyalty or promotional program when given without any consideration
2. gift cards that are sold below face value to employers or to non-profit organizations for fundraising purposes
3. gift card is issued for a food product
Even if your card hasn't expired, you may be charged a dormancy fee if you don't use your card after a certain length of time. Check with the business where the card was issued to know the rules on that particular card. Or it may be listed on the back of the card or certificate.