The gift card that keeps on giving

The State Liberals have written to the Federal Attorney General George Brandis proposing that the Federal Parliament legislate to end the practice of gift cards having an expiry date.

“It would be simpler and fairer for gift cards to be valid until they are redeemed,” said Shadow Minister for Cost of Living Corey Wingard.

“Many of us have received a gift card as a present, popped it away for a more convenient time only to realise later that it had expired.

“Some people simply aren’t aware that gift cards have an expiry date.”

A Choice member survey in 2014 found 60% of respondents had problems with gift cards, and premature expiry was the biggest issue.

One in three of the 735 respondents to the Choice survey had lost the full value of at least one gift card in the previous three years.

“Whilst some retailers will honour a gift card that is out of date there is really no reason as to why it should ever be a matter for the retailer to consider,” said Mr Wingard.

“A gift card is a good substitute for giving someone cash and should have the same longevity as cash.

“The gift card market is substantial, growing and in need of tilt in favor of the consumer.

“The retailer of the gift card has the benefit of a pre-sale return, the profit margin when the card is redeemed and often keep the residual balance on the card.”

The legal protection currently provided is limited to a situation where an expiry date is considered unreasonably short or where there are particularly unfair terms and conditions for gift cards.