Buying gift cards and vouchers
From 10 December 2018, gift cards sold in South Australia must have a minimum three year expiry date. The expiry date on cards purchased before then will not change.
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.
From 10 December, gift cards must have a minimum three year expiry date and sellers may not charge an administrative fee that reduces the redeemable value of the gift card after its sale.
This does not apply to cards delivered to an address outside SA or where the address of the purchaser is outside SA.
The three-year minimum expiry period does not apply to cards or vouchers that are:
- redeemable only for phone credit, internet access or any other utility - eg iTunes card
- supplied in place of goods returned to the supplier - eg a card or voucher given to a consumer when they return faulty goods
- 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
- 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.
The new requirements will also not apply to:
- ATM cards, charge cards, credit cards or debit cards
- reloadable prepaid cards such as mobile recharge cards.
Cards that show a shorter expiry date
For the first six months after the change, businesses can sell their existing stock of gift cards that are labelled with shorter expiry dates, but they must inform consumers that the card will be honoured for a minimum of three years. They can do this by:
- writing a note of the actual expiry date on the receipt
- giving the consumer a flyer to inform them of the changes
- displaying signage where gift cards are sold or at point of sale
- updating their gift card terms and conditions on their website or other promotional material.
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).