Gift cards: the backup when you’re fresh out of ideas for that person who has everything.

Remember that time you excitedly went to cash in grandma’s birthday present, only to find you were a week too late? Well, this dilemma is soon to change.

The federal government have introduced new regulations that will require gift cards and vouchers to have a minimum expiry period of 3 years. The expiry date on the gift card will need to be prominently displayed. Certain post-supply administration fees will also be banned.

This change to the Australian Consumer Law will apply nation-wide and provide consistency for consumers, with some states such as New South Wales having already introduced similar laws. Failure to comply with the new laws will risk a fine.

The new regulations will take effect on 1 November 2019 and apply to gift cards sold from that date. Businesses selling gift cards and vouchers outside of New South Wales therefore still have time to prepare for these changes.

Unfortunately the regulations won’t apply to existing gift cards, so be sure to spend this year’s haul of Christmas presents by the expiry date on the card.

By Luke McKavanagh