9 March 2020
Gift cards and prepaid cards
Thinking of buying a gift card for a loved one’s birthday? Or received one over the holidays? This reminder of the rules concerning gift cards and prepaid cards might be of interest to you.
What you need to know about gift and prepaid cards:
- No activation or usage fees may be charged if the card can be used at a single retailer. For a card that allows you to purchase a good or service from several retailers, fees may apply (e.g., a prepaid card issued by a shopping mall or financial institution).
- If a retailer goes bankrupt, you could lose your money. You can contact the retailer’s bankruptcy trustee to determine whether your money can be recovered.
- It is forbidden to impose an expiry date, except for cell phone cards and cards giving access to unlimited service (e.g. bus passes).
- If a card entitles you to a specific good or service (e.g. a Swedish massage) and the price has gone up, you will have to pay the difference, provided that the initial value and the date from which an additional sum may be requested are clearly indicated on the card.
- With the exception of cards issued by financial institutions and cell phone cards, if the balance on your card is less than $5, you can request cash back.