With an estimated $148 million in gift cards going unused in Australia each year, it pays to check any gift cards you give are just as easy for your loved ones to spend as they are for you to buy.
Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Stirling Hinchliffe said one of the key issues that caused gift cards to go to waste was expiry dates.
“Not all gift cards are created equal and it’s really important that the person who receives the gift card knows when it expires,” he said.
“Some will last for a year, others only a few months.
“Before you leave the store, check the trader has written the expiry date on the back so your loved one can easily check how long they have to spend it.
“It’s also important to ask for a printout of any terms and conditions that you can give with the card.
“Check if the card can be used for multiple purchases or if it needs to be spent in one transaction.
“Also check if the store provides change if a gift card isn’t spent in full, or if the exact amount has to be spent to get the full value of the card.
“If you’re buying a shopping centre gift card to give your loved one more options, check it can be used at any store. Some stores within the centre may not honour such gift cards and that’s something you want to know before you buy.”
Mr Hinchliffe said there were some circumstances when gift cards might not be honoured.
“Unfortunately, if a business changes owners or goes into administration, receivership or liquidation, gift cards may not be honoured,” he said.
For more information on gift cards, including what to do if a trader goes out of business, visit www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading.
For information on national reform to standardise gift card expiry periods to a minimum of three years, visit www.consumerlaw.gov.au. This reform is expected to come into effect late 2019, so in the meantime, check those expiry dates.
Acting Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe