Buying gift cards and vouchers
Gift cards sold in Australia must have a minimum three-year expiry date.
Purchasing gift cards
When purchasing a gift card, always check the terms and conditions, including:
- the value of the gift card
- the expiry date
- any restrictions on its use.
Receiving gift cards
When receiving a gift card, there are a few things you should remember:
- keep the card somewhere safe - businesses are under no obligation to replace a lost gift card
- use the full value of the gift card before the expiry date - businesses do not have to honour an expired gift card
- if a business is no longer trading or changes hands and you haven’t yet used your gift card, you may not be able to redeem it.
Gift cards must have a minimum three-year expiry date.
The expiry date must be displayed on the gift card. If there is no expiry date to redeem the card, this must also be stated.
The three-year minimum expiry period does not apply to cards or vouchers that are:
- supplied as part of a customer loyalty or employee rewards program
- supplied as part of a temporary marketing promotion to reward anyone who purchases particular goods or services
- given to consumers free of charge for promotional purposes
- sold for a particular good or service at a genuine discount- e.g. $50 card for salon services valued at $100
- redeemable only for a particular product or service that is available for a limited period, such as entry to an art exhibition or a concert.
- second-hand gift cards.
The requirements also don't apply to:
- ATM cards, charge cards, credit cards or debit cards
- cards that are able to be reloaded or topped up, such as mobile recharge cards.
Fees that can be charged
A business can charge a fee:
- for the gift card purchase
- for reissuing a lost, stolen or damaged card
- to cover the cost of processing a payment such as:
- overseas transaction fees
- booking fees
- credit card surcharge
Fees that can't be charged
Once a gift card has been issued, post-purchase fees can't be charged, including
- activation fees
- account keeping fees
- balance enquiry fees.
Problems with sellers
If you believe a business is not doing the right thing in relation to gift cards, raise your concerns with the business. If the matter can't be resolved, contact Consumer and Business Services (CBS).