Rules for gift cards

There are new rules in place for gift cards sold on or after 1 November 2019.

Gift card expiry

If you supply gift cards on or after 1 November 2019, the cards must be redeemable for at least three years after the date of purchase.

This requirement does not apply to gift cards that are:

  • able to be reloaded or topped up
  • donated for promotional purposes (e.g. a business handing out $15 vouchers to passers-by for its grand opening)
  • available only for a specified period (e.g. performance of a visiting ballet company)
  • supplied at a genuine discount (e.g. $60 card for a massage valued at $100)
  • part of an employee reward scheme
  • part of a customer loyalty program
  • second-hand gift cards
  • part of a temporary marketing promotion (e.g. customers buy a certain product from Business A, which provides a $50 voucher to use at Business B)
  • supplied to certain charities or government agencies.

Gift cards must show the expiry date

Gift cards you supply from 1 November 2019 must also prominently display the expiry date as either the full date, or as a period of time.

If the expiry date is shown as a period of time it must also include the date it was supplied to the customer, so you can determine the expiration date. For example: 'Gift cards expire 4 years from the issue date. Date of issue: March 2020'.

If there is no expiry date, this must be stated on the gift card.

This display requirement does not apply to gift cards that are supplied as a second-hand good or to gift cards supplied to certain charities and government agencies.

No post-supply fees

You cannot charge post-supply fees for the use of gift cards you supply from 1 November 2019. A post-supply fee is a fee or charge that the gift card recipient has to pay in relation to a gift card after it has been supplied.

You also cannot have terms and conditions on the use of your gift cards that allow you to charge post-supply fees.

Post-supply fees do not include fees and charges that:

  • are booking fees, where those booking fees are the same, or substantially the same, as fees or charges for making a booking using a payment method other than a gift card
  • are for exchanging currencies
  • relate to the reissue of a gift card that has been lost, stolen or damaged
  • are payment surcharges.

The post-supply fees requirements do not apply to gift cards that are supplied as a second-hand good or to gift cards supplied to certain charities and government agencies.

Changes to the gift card supplier

If a business changes owners, the new owner must honour existing gift cards and vouchers if the business was:

  • sold as a ‘going concern’, that is, the assets and liabilities of the business were sold by the previous owner to the new owner
  • owned by a company rather than an individual, and the new owner purchased the shares in the company.

Penalties

There are penalties that apply for breaching the rules for gift cards.

See: Fines & penalties

Don’t get caught out

  • Check the expiry periods of gift cards supplied from 1 November 2019 and how they are displayed on the card.
  • Check any terms and conditions attached to your gift cards supplied after 1 November 2019.
  • You must not tell customers that these new requirements do not apply to gift cards supplied by your business after 1 November 2019 unless they fall within one of the categories of exceptions outlined above.

More information

Explanatory Memorandum to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Gift Cards) Act 2018 (PDF)

Explanatory Statement to the Treasury Laws Amendment (Gift Cards) Regulations 2018

Gift card information for consumers

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