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.
Did you like this post? You might like these posts too!
It looks, smells and tastes like a gift card… but is it?
The gift of gift cards
Do I pay tax on a gift card?
6 tips for eco-friendly gift giving
About Consumer Protection BC
We are responsible for regulating specific sectors and certain 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 be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at www.consumerprotectionbc.ca.
4 thoughts on “An important reminder when shopping for gift cards”
What about a dollar amount bought for half price? There is a “my half price deals” that businesses sell gift amounts for half price.
Some say no expiry but have a stipulation that it must be redeemed by a certain date?
Hey MJ, thanks for your question. Gift cards bought as part of a promotion are allowed to expire according to BC’s laws. You can learn more about BC’s gift card laws on our website. I hope this helps!
I bought several Petro Canada gift cards, each worth $50. When I got home, I noticed one card didn’t match the number on the activation paper. I went back to Shoppers Drug Mart and had several contrasting explanations and was even told to walk to Petro Canada to verify. I did and was told there was zero value in the card I just paid for. The Manager said he could not do anything about it. I’m curious because I paid $50 for a plastic card with no money in it. What should I do? Please advise as I am in no position to buy another gift card.
Hey Carolyn, thanks for your question. If the code on the gift card does not match the code on the receipt, I suggest you return to Shoppers Drug Mart and explain the situation, including that you’ve verified the card hasn’t been activated. If that doesn’t work, and you paid with a credit card, you may want to ask for a charge back/reversal of the charges. I hope this helps!