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Government Services
April 1, 2011

Gift Card Rules Come into Effect

Changes to the rules of gift card purchases come into effect today (Friday, April 1). The new gift card regulations remove expiration dates and fees for gift cards, with two exceptions.

“Gift cards have become increasingly popular over the last several years but it is necessary to ensure that consumers are protected when they purchase them and know exactly what they are purchasing,” said the Honourable Harry Harding, Minister of Government Services. “For this reason we have put in place regulations which ensure that consumers are not locked into a specific timeframe when using gift cards and they are not charged fees outside the cost of the card.”

Effective today, under these regulations, gift cards will not have an expiry date and suppliers must sell the cards at a price equivalent to the value of the gift card. Exceptions to this are in place relating to gift cards issued or sold for a charitable purpose or cards that are issued for a marketing, advertising or promotional purpose. Such cards can carry an expiry date and fees may be charged by the supplier.

Consumers must be supplied with all information in relation to the use, redemption or replacement of gift cards, including any fees or expiry dates where exceptions apply. In addition, consumers must be made aware of where they can obtain additional information about the gift card including what happens to any remaining balance if the card is not used in full. This must also include contact information printed on each card for the issuing company or organization.

“This change, which comes into effect today, further enhances consumer protection,” said Minister Harding. “Our priority is consumer protection and we will continue to make regulatory changes for that purpose.”

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Media contact:
Hugh Donnan
Director of Communications
Department of Government Services
709-729-4860, 709-725-6511

2011 04 01             10:20 a.m.

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