There are new rules in place for gift cards sold on or after 1 November 2019.
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 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.
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.
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.
There are penalties that apply for breaching the rules for gift cards.
See: Fines & penalties
- 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.