A gift card or gift voucher is a card/voucher loaded with an amount of cash. It enables you (or the person you give it to) to buy goods and services. Gift cards vary, some gift cards can only be used at select retailers, but some can be used anywhere in a shopping centre and others can be used anywhere that accepts major credit cards.
When you receive a gift card check the expiry date. If it's not printed on the card, ask the sales attendant to write it on the card and keep the receipt for the purchase.
You should use the total value of the card by the expiry date as the remaining amount is usually not refundable. You can check the terms and conditions on the issuer's website or on the back of the card.
If you lose a gift card or it is stolen, in most cases you will not be able to replace it. Some retailers may replace it if you have the receipt and they have the facilities to check if it has been redeemed, but generally they cannot be replaced so be careful and treat them as you would cash.
When purchasing something with the gift card, if stated in the terms and conditions the retailer is required to give you the rest of the money back in cash.
If the terms and conditions do not state a cash back option for your change, the retailer can insist on leaving the remaining credit on the gift card or giving you a credit note instead.
Most retailer cards have no fees on gift cards. Fees are mainly a problem with prepaid credit card gift cards. Some cards charge an issue fee.
You should able to check the card balance easily by phone, in- store or online. Be careful of cards that charge a fee to check the balance of the card as you could be losing money each time you check your balance.
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If you believe a business is not complying with the terms of a gift card or voucher, seek further information or lodge a complaint as follows.