Gift cards are a great gift option without having to guess the size, colour, or style of gift someone will like. Here’s a (reenacted) conversation between two staff with some reminders about BC’s gift card rules.

Aidan: Hey Amanda, I’m having trouble deciding on gifts to give my family. I think I’m just going to give them some gift cards. Can you remind me of what I might need to know when I’m shopping for gift cards?

Amanda: One of the main things people often forget about is that some gift cards can expire. Here’s what you need to know…

Which gift cards can expire, and which can’t?

Gift cards for specific dollar amounts are not allowed to expire. For example, a $50 gift card to a store is not allowed to expire.

These types of gift cards are allowed to expire:

  • Gift cards issued for a specific good or service, like a voucher for a free smoothie
  • Gift cards sold at a discount, like those bought during a store promotion
  • Gift cards sold for charitable purposes
  • Gift cards bought before 2009

How can I keep track of gift cards with an expiry date?

Any gift card that can expire must include an expiry date. Here’s some ways to keep track of it.

  • Set a calendar reminder or phone notification
  • Keep all your gift cards that can expire in the same place
  • Prioritize using gift cards when you first get them so you don’t forget

Aidan: Thanks a bunch! This was the refresher I needed!

Amanda: No problem. You can brush up on BC’s gift card laws on our website , including what information needs to be disclosed to you.

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About Consumer Protection BC 

We are not-for-profit regulator responsible for overseeing certain industries and specific consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will try to offer a referral to a relevant organization, if one exists. Other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at