Gift card and discount voucher schemes provide an alternative to cash when buying products or services from participating businesses.
Discount vouchers generally offer a discount off specified products and services, and include:
- shopper dockets
- gift cards and vouchers
- books of vouchers.
Read the terms and conditions
Businesses must clearly state all conditions and restrictions on how you can use discount vouchers.
Before you purchase or use a discount voucher, read the terms and conditions carefully. You may only be able to get the discount or gift if you buy:
- from specified businesses
- another particular product or service from the business
- at certain times or on certain days
- before the offer expires or stocks run out.
A gift card is usually loaded with an amount of cash that enables you or the recipient to exchange it for goods or services to the value of the amount on the card. It may also be provided in voucher or paper format.
Businesses must clearly state:
- all conditions and restrictions on how you can use the gift card or voucher
- the expiry date of the gift card or voucher, including the activation expiry date for cards that need to be activated
- any limitation on the number of transactions
- whether or not the card can be reloaded or topped up.
Gift cards or vouchers can’t usually be exchanged for cash, unless there is a remaining amount on the card that the business believes can’t be conveniently used.
Check the expiry date of your gift card or voucher carefully, as businesses are not required to honour them after this date.
If there are changes to the circumstances of a business supplying the gift card or voucher, it’s important to know how it may affect your rights.
If the 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.
If the company operating the business becomes insolvent, you become an ‘unsecured creditor’ of the company.