Gift Cards – proposed exemptions

New laws will require most gift cards sold in South Australia to have an expiry date of at least 3 years.

However the law will not apply to gift cards purchased online or over the phone where:

  • the gift card is to be delivered to a consumer’s address outside of SA
  • the consumer who purchased the gift card lives outside SA.

These changes for gift cards have been passed by the SA Parliament. Further information is provided in the background section below.

Consultation on the Regulations

Comments have been sought on the categories of gift cards that will be exempt from the new provisions – e.g. temporary marketing promotions or vouchers supplied for charitable purposes.

Consultation closed on 20 July 2018 and the feedback received is being considered.

Background

The Fair Trading (Gift Cards) Amendment Bill 2018 aims to make gift cards more consumer friendly by providing greater flexibility and certainty for consumers who are often confused by varying rules in relation to gift card expiry dates.

The Bill reduces the detriment caused to consumers when they are forced to redeem gift cards and make purchases that they otherwise might not, simply because of a looming expiry date. It also reduces the financial loss experienced by consumers who do not redeem their gift cards at all, simply because they have been unable to find something that they wish to purchase within the period of time that the gift card is valid.

The Bill eases the pressure placed on consumers by increasing the period of time in which they have to redeem their vouchers, ensuring that they get what they’ve paid for and are more likely to make purchases that they can benefit from.

The Fair Trading (Gift Cards) Amendment Bill 2018 has been passed by the SA Parliament and is available at www.legislation.sa.gov.au