Minimum expiry dates for gift cards to be introduced in 2018

NSW Parliament has recently passed legislation which will introduce a minimum expiry date of three years from the date of sale for gift cards and vouchers. The Fair Trading Amendment (Ticket Scalping and Gift Cards) Act 2017 prohibits (and imposes fines for): –

  1. the sale of gift cards or vouchers with an expiry date of less than 3 years; and
  2. the charging of fees, after the sale of a gift card or voucher, which reduces the redeemable value of the card.

Any gift card or voucher that expires less than three years after the date of sale will be taken to have a three-year expiry period.

The new laws only apply to the sale of cards or vouchers that are redeemable for goods or services in NSW. They do not apply to: –

  • Cards or vouchers that are only redeemable outside the State of NSW;
  • Cards or vouchers sold to consumers outside NSW – if the gift card is sold online or by phone and is either delivered to the consumer at an address outside NSW, or supplied to a consumer who provides contact details including a residential address outside NSW, the laws do not apply.
  • Cards or vouchers supplied in substitution for goods returned to the supplier of the goods (i.e. store credit).
  • Prepaid cards or vouchers redeemable for phone credit, internet access or the like.
  • Debit cards, credit cards, prepaid travel cards or similar products supplied by a financial institution.
  • Cards or vouchers supplied as part of a customer loyalty program.

While the new laws are expected to come into effect on a yet to-be announced date in 2018, they will not apply to gift cards sold before that date.

So, unfortunately, the new laws will not apply to any gift cards you receive this Christmas!

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