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.

Expiry dates

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.

Exempt cards

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

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).

Contact CBS

Online: Contact CBS

Phone131 882

In person:
91 Grenfell Street
Adelaide

Post:
GPO Box 1719
Adelaide SA 5001


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Page last updated 25 November 2019

Provided by:
Attorney-General's Department
URL:
https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/rights-and-law/consumer-rights/shopping-tips/gift-vouchers
Last Updated:
25/11/19
Printed on:
15/12/19
Copyright statement:
SA.GOV.AU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Licence. © Copyright 2019
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