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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