Have you ever received a gift card and put it away for use on that proverbial rainy day, only to later discover that the redemption period has expired? I know that I have.
Until fairly recently, gift card vendors could choose all manner of expiry periods for their cards. But not anymore.
With all of the hullabaloo surrounding Bitcoin in recent months you could be forgiven for overlooking an important change to NSW State consumer laws affecting the minimum expiry date for gift cards.
As a result of the Fair Trading Amendment (Ticket Scalping and Gift Cards) Bill 2017, which came into effect on 31 March 2018, gift cards now have a minimum 3 year expiry date.
Gift cards in hard copy or electronic form purchased and redeemed in NSW after 31 March this year are covered by these new provisions. In addition to increasing the minimum expiry period, the seller (or the business accepting the gift card) is prohibited from charging any administrative fee that would reduce the value of the gift card.
Are all gift cards covered?
No! There are some exceptions:
- Gift cards given for returned goods;
- Gift cards given as a trade promotion or for free as part of a marketing campaign or fundraising;
- Gift cards given as part of a customer loyalty program or rewards program;
- Prepaid cards for phone/internet/travel; and
- Debit cards, credit cards or similar products or vouchers supplied by financial institutions.
So, unless the seller of your gift card goes out of business (think of Toys “R” Us) you can be safe in the knowledge that if you decide to give a gift card this Father’s Day then dear old dad will have a minimum of 3 years from the date of purchase in which to redeem the value of his card.