A fee charged by a bank or other financial institution for not using your credit card or other account. Also called a dormancy fee. Some brokerages also assess inactivity fees when there are few or no transactions for a long period. This is designed to encourage trading. Inactivity fees for gift cards are regulated by the Credit CARD Act of 2009, which says they can only be charged when a gift is unused for 12 months or more. The fee can only be charge once a month, though there is no limit on the amount of the fee, and the terms must be fully disclosed before a gift card is purchased.