WINNIPEG - The Consumer Protection Office is reminding Manitobans to be aware of the rules related to buying and using gift cards as we approach the holiday season.
The card provider must inform the consumer of all restrictions, limitations and conditions on the use of the card. If it is not clear, ask more questions before buying the gift card.
In most cases, gift cards are not allowed to have an expiry date. However, there are some exceptions. Gift cards can expire if they are:
- for a specific good or service, such as a manicure;
- issued for a promotional or charitable purpose; or
- part of a reward or loyalty program.
Fees can only be charged to customize a gift card or to replace a lost or stolen card.
When purchasing a gift card, it is always recommended to keep a receipt for back up in case of any issues. Some gift cards can be registered with the seller, which can help to recover them if the card is lost or stolen. It is good practice to treat all gift cards like cash.