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Norman Waterhouse

‘Tis the season to be giving, but how long do I have to use a gift card?

As of 1 November 2019, the Australian Consumer Law has been amended to provide protection for gift card consumers in Australia.

Gift cards and vouchers sold in store in Australia, or through online stores that trade in Australia, on or after 1 November 2019 must:

  • have a minimum 3 year expiry period from the date it is sold to a consumer;
  • display expiry dates; and
  • not require any further payment on redemption.

A gift card must show the date it was purchased if the expiry date is shown as a period of time. For example, “This gift card is valid for 3 years from the date of purchase being 1 November 2019”.

The above requirements will not apply to gift cards that are:

  • able to be reloaded or topped up;
  • donated free of charge for promotional purposes;
  • sold for a specific good or service including a genuine discount;
  • received as part of customer loyalty programs;
  • supplied as part of an employee reward program;
  • provided as part of a temporary marketing promotion; and
  • available for a specific period of time only.

Penalties for non-compliance apply with fines ranging from $6,000.00 - $30,000.00. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also has the ability to impose infringement notices which currently range from $2,420.00 to $11,500.00.

For more specific information on any of the material contained in this article please contact Johanna Churchill on + 61 8 8210 1236 or jchurchill@normans.com.au or Stefanie Magliani on +61 8 8217 1373 or smagliani@normans.com.au.

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