Shoppers welcome three-year expiry for gift cards sold in NSW

A win for shoppers. Photo: Shutterstock
A win for shoppers. Photo: Shutterstock

Too many times Dave Bonnor and his family have been caught out by 12-month expiry dates on gift cards.

Reforms that came into effect at the weekend will ensure this no longer happens, at least for shoppers in Albury.

There will now be a mandatory minimum expiry period of three years for gift cards and vouchers sold to a consumer in NSW.

STOKED: Dave Bonnor, pictured with his sons Harry, 7, and Jack, 12, is pleased to hear expiry dates for gift cards sold in NSW have been extended. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

STOKED: Dave Bonnor, pictured with his sons Harry, 7, and Jack, 12, is pleased to hear expiry dates for gift cards sold in NSW have been extended. Picture: KYLIE ESLER

The reforms don’t apply to cards purchased before March 31, and there are exclusions, including vouchers given by a business for free, debit or credit cards and many re-loadable cards that use electronic payment systems.

But with many standard gift cards issued by big retail chains, and even those given by small businesses, recipients won’t have to sweat the expiry.

Mr Bonnor said it was these types of vouchers he was caught out with in the past.

“The main ones have been with the Woolworths gift cards and also the ones from Regent Cinemas,” he said.

“Good on NSW – they should spread this to other states.”

The changes were first touted last year following 1300 complaints about gift cards to NSW Fair Trading over the previous five years.

The state government estimates up to eight per cent of cards aren’t used in time.

Member for Albury Greg Aplin said the reforms were expected to give up to $60 million back to shoppers annually.

“This is a big win for consumers many of whom would have experienced the disappointment of going to use a gift card only to find it had expired,” he said.