Gift cards will have a longer shelf life for NSW consumers
Gift cards will have a longer shelf life for NSW consumers AndreyPopov

A win is on the cards

WE'VE all done it. Received a gift card from Aunty Dot or Nana at Christmas or for a birthday and shoved it in the back of your purse or wallet. By the time you remember to go out shopping, the gift card has often expired.

There's nothing you can do. Expired gift cards don't have to be honoured by the retailer and Nana won't get a refund because you didn't use the card.

But there is hope on the shopping horizon. From March 31 next year, gift cards purchased in NSW with have a three-year expiry date.

Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said the NSW Government's gift card reforms would put up to $60 million a year back in the hands of NSW shoppers.

"These Australian-first reforms will give consumers confidence that when they buy gift cards for friends or relatives, they're getting value for money,” Mr Kean said.

"It's a very frustrating experience to present a gift card only to find it's expired, and the money has gone down the drain.

"Most gift cards now come with a 12-month expiry period but all cards sold in NSW from March 31 will allow consumers three years to cash in - and that's a big win.”

Mr Kean said the Australian gift card market was worth up to $2.5 billion per annum, with about 34 million gift cards sold nationally each year.

"Over the past five years NSW Fair Trading has had more than 1300 complaints about gift cards about expiry periods and undisclosed terms and conditions,” he said.

"This is all about putting consumers first and I call on businesses to put their customers first by extending expiry dates across the country.

"This is a NSW reform but there's no reason all Australian consumers shouldn't benefit too.”

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