Gift cards no longer a gamble

New laws make using gift cards easier.

With gift cards and cash representing almost one-third of Christmas gifts, it’s likely you woke up to a gift card in your stocking on the big day.

New national laws are making it easier for gift card recipients to make the most of the post-Christmas sales. 

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said new gift card laws, which took effect in November, give consumers three years to spend up.

“We’ve all heard stories of consumers having their gift cards rejected, without even getting the chance to spend them,” Ms D’Ath said.

“Now, with the exception of a few limited-use gift cards and vouchers, all gift cards automatically come with a minimum three-year expiry period.

“The expiry date also needs to be clearly marked on the card and even if gift cards state an earlier expiry date, the statement will be invalid and consumers will still be entitled to the mandatory three-year period from date of purchase.”

“This will help to protect consumers from losing an estimated $70 million on gift cards each year.”

Gift card changes

  • Most gift cards sold on or after 1 November 2019 will have a minimum expiry period of three years which begins on the date the gift card is purchased.
  • The expiry date must be prominently displayed on the gift card.
  • Post-purchase charges, including activation, account keeping and balance enquiry fees, have been banned. 

Visit Australian Consumer Law for full details.

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and not as specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice and does not take into account any person’s particular investment objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives, financial situations and needs.