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Buying gift cards

Using a gift card

Answer these questions when you buy or use gift cards or gift vouchers.

When will the card expire?

Make sure:

  • you have time to redeem the gift card inside the expiry date
  • the expiry date is prominent on the card, so that you (or your recipient) don’t forget it.

Does it have any spending limits?

Ask if:

  • the store imposes a minimum amount that you need to spend in each transaction
  • you need to spend the full amount in one transaction.

How will the store give change?

They might:

  • give you a new card for the remaining amount
  • re-encode the card to only be worth the remaining amount
  • give you cash change (if they do, it will usually only be a few dollars or a small percentage of the original card value)
  • not give change at all.

Are stores excluded from shopping centre cards?

Think about:

  • which stores you or your recipient usually shop at
  • whether those stores set out their exclusion on a card, receipt or notice.

Will they replace lost or stolen cards and vouchers?

If so:

  • check if they maintain a register of cards
  • keep your receipt
  • note any identifying number or code shown on the gift card
  • contact the store about lost cards as soon as possible.

Can you check how much is left on a gift card?

This could be by:

  • asking in-store
  • checking online.

What are the terms and conditions?

Make sure you:

  • get a written copy from the retailer
  • pass this document on to the gift card recipient.

When a card isn’t honoured

A store may not honour your gift card if they:

  • change to new owners
  • go into administration, receivership or liquidation.

The best way to avoid this is to use a gift card early.

Find out more about traders going out of business

Making a complaint

If you have a problem about a gift card, the first thing you should do is talk to them. Usually, people want to do the right thing and will be happy to fix any problems.

Talk to the business

You can call in, phone or write to the manager. Make sure you set out what the problem is and how you want them to fix it.

Get some tips

Lodge a complaint

Sometimes the business won’t help. If this happens, you can make a formal complaint to us.

Make a complaint

Last updated
23 December 2016
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