We often get calls from consumers, asking about prepaid cards and gift cards. Consumer Protection BC is responsible for regulating the law in BC around gift cards when it comes to fees and expiry dates.

As of May 1, 2014, new regulations for prepaid cards issued by a federally regulated financial institution have come into effect in Canada. The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is responsible for enforcing these new rules – and here’s a summary of what you might want to know.

What are the highlights of the new prepaid card rules?

  • Maintenance fees aren’t allowed for at least one year after the card is activated
  • All fees associated with the card has to be clearly explained on the packaging
  • All other important information has to be given to the buyer before the card is issued in a manner that’s “clear, simple and not misleading.”

Wondering about your specific prepaid card?

Check out this page from the FCAC to see if the new regulations apply to your card. This page provides more comprehensive information about prepaid cards from the FCAC’s website.

But aren’t gift cards already regulated in BC?

Yes, Consumer Protection BC administers the laws regarding gift cards in BC – and that hasn’t changed. These new laws about prepaid cards refer to cards issued by a federally regulated financial institution, such as a bank. Need more information? Visit the FCAC’s website.

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