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September 26

Know the Redemption Restrictions of Your Gift Cards

Posted by on September 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

Know the Redemption Restrictions of Your Gift CardsOne of the main reasons why retailers love to issue gift cards, is due to their high profitability resulting from a concept known as “breakage” (as described in my previous gift card post). This refers to the common occurrence whereby the full credit limit of a gift card is not redeemed by the recipient before it expires. This simply boosts the issuing company’s profits as despite receiving the full amount of cash up front for the card, they benefit by only having to part with products of a lesser value in exchange.

As a consumer, it’s therefore very important to know the validity period of any store gift card within your possession to ensure that you don’t lose out on available credit. In this article, I’ve provided a summary breakdown below of all the most pertinent terms and conditions that you should be aware of for the major retailer gift cards in Australia. This should help to maximise the benefits of your spending options the next time you receive one from somebody.   

On the topic of validity periods, there’s been conflicting studies performed globally and locally around what impact they have on the levels of redemptions amongst consumers. Some studies have shown that longer periods of validity resulted in up to 30% (on average) of gift card credit not being used. However, studies conducted by the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) and Australian Merchant Payments Forum (AMPF) have produced contrary findings. They’ve shown that almost 98% of the value of gift cards are redeemed within the expiry period. These findings do imply that this is predominantly the case for gift cards of shorter validity durations though.

In other countries with more mature gift card markets, such as the USA and Canada, there’s actually a push going on to remove expiry periods all together as they are seen as unfair towards the customer. In Australia the average expiry period for gift cards is set at 2 years, which in my opinion, and as suggested by the studies above, has been a calculated move by retailers in their favour. Based on my own personal experience, I believe that in reality the more time you’re given within which to use your gift card, the more complacent you become making you less likely to rush out and buy something right away. This probably happens quite frequently, where the card is put into a drawer to be used another day and never actually makes it out again until it’s too late.

Let’s take a look now at the breakdown of all the important redemption restrictions for some of the most popular gift cards available in Australia today.

 

Merchant Denominations Expiry Period Important T&Cs Valid Stores Link
David Jones Can be loaded for any value between $5 and $1000 Valid for 24-months from date of issue
  • Gift cards cannot be replaced if lost or stolen
  • It cannot be exchanged for cash
  • Gift card cannot pay any credit card accounts including David Jones branded accounts
  • Cannot be redeemed online
  • Balance remaining on the gift card may be used in part or as whole for future purchases
  • Remaining balance cannot be redeemed as cash
  • Balance remaining after expiry date will not be available for use anymore
Only valid for purchases in David Jones stores David Jones Gift Card
Big W All Big W gift cards can be loaded for any value between $10 and $500 WISH gift cards expire within 12-months of the date of issue
  • Online gift card purchases have additional delivery charges of $5.50 (Australia Post) or $14.99 (courier)
  • Online orders require payment before delivery
  • Essential gift cards and Groceries only gift cards cannot be redeemed online
  • Cannot be used to make any form of credit card payments or transaction account deposits
  • Essentials and Groceries Only gift cards cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco products or gift cards
  • All gift cards are non-refundable
  • Cannot be exchanged for cash
  • Remaining balance on gift cards cannot be withdrawn
  • All gift cards can only be loaded once at the time of purchase
  • Gift cards purchased in Australia cannot be used in New Zealand 
WISH gift cards can be redeemed at Big W stores as well as all other participating stores including Woolworths & Safeway Supermarkets, Caltex Woolworths or Caltex Safeway fuel outlets Big W Everyday Gift Cards
Woolworths All Woolworths gift cards can have values between $10 and $500 WISH gift cards, Essentials, Groceries Only and Store gift cards expire within 12-months of the date of issue. Return cards are valid for a period of 6-months
  • Online gift card purchases have additional delivery charges of $5.50 (Australia Post) or $14.99 (courier)
  • Online orders require payment before delivery
  • Essential gift cards and Groceries only gift cards cannot be redeemed online
  • Cannot be used to make any form of credit card payments or transaction account deposits
  • Essentials and Groceries Only gift cards cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco products or gift cards
  • All gift cards are non-refundable
  • Cannot be exchanged for cash
  • Remaining balance on gift cards cannot be withdrawn
  • All gift cards can only be loaded once at the time of purchase
  • Gift cards purchased in Australia cannot be used in New Zealand
WISH gift cards, Store gift cards and Essential gift cards can be redeemed at Woolworths stores as well as all other participating stores including Big W & Safeway Supermarkets, Caltex Woolworths or Caltex Safeway fuel outlets Woolworths Everyday Gift Cards
Myer Myer gift cards can be loaded by any value between $5 and $500 All Myers gift cards are valid for a period of 24-months from date of issue
  • Myer gift cards are cannot be used to purchase other gift cards
  • They cannot be used to make bill payments or credit card or store card payments
  • They cannot be used to make through the online store, over the phone, by email or by facsimile
  • Gift cards cannot be used to make purchases at Brunetti, Eating in Italy, Gloria Jeans Coffees, Hudson’s Coffee, Laubman and Pank, BCI Clinics, Nespresso Boutique, Pixifoto, Portrait Place, Santas Photo Factory and Hair Saloon
  • Certain products like liquor may not be sold against gift card redemption
  • Myers gift cards cannot be exchanged for cash or for gift cards of different denomination
  • Unused gift card value will not be reimbursed after expiry of gift card
Myer gift cards can be presented to the point of sale in Myer Stores Myer Gift Cards
Dick Smith All Dick Smith gift cards can have values between $10 and $500 WISH gift cards expire within 12-months of the date of issue
  • Online gift card purchases have additional delivery charges of $5.50 (Australia Post) or $14.99 (courier)
  • Online orders require payment before delivery
  • Essential gift cards and Groceries only gift cards cannot be redeemed online
  • Cannot be used to make any form of credit card payments or transaction account deposits
  • Essentials and Groceries Only gift cards cannot be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco products or gift cards
  • All gift cards are non-refundable
  • Cannot be exchanged for cash
  • Remaining balance on gift cards cannot be withdrawn
  • All gift cards can only be loaded once at the time of purchase
  • Gift cards purchased in Australia cannot be used in New Zealand
WISH gift cards, Store gift cards and Essential gift cards can be redeemed at Woolworths stores as well as all other participating stores including Big W & Safeway Supermarkets, Caltex Woolworths or Caltex Safeway fuel outlets Everyday Gift Cards
Harvey Norman These gift cards can be loaded with the following values: $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $200 and $500 Harvey Norman gift cards are valid for 24-months from the date of issue
  • Harvey Norman gift cards cannot be used to make purchases from Harvey Norman Online
  • Gift cards cannot be redeemed for cash
  • Gift cards can be used multiple-times until the entire value has been utilized or until expiry, whichever comes first
  • Gift cards cannot be used to buy other gift cards
  • Gift cards can only be loaded once at the time of issue
Redeemable at all Harvey Norman stores around Australia Harvey Norman Online
Coles Coles gift cards can have any value between $5 and $500 All Coles gift cards are valid for a period of 24-months from date of issue
  • Coles gift cards cannot be used to purchase other gift cards
  • Gift cards may take some time before reflecting their dollar value – the card may not work during this period
  • The gift card value or the remaining balance cannot be redeemed as cash
  • A gift card may be re-used until the entire dollar value is exhausted or until the card expires
  • Gift cards cannot be exchanged
  • Items bought with the gift card may be exchanged in accordance with the return-policy of that store
  • Coles gift cards may not be used for making online purchases
  • Gift cards cannot be used to pay into credit card or store card payments
  • All products may not be for sale through purchases made by Coles gift cards
Coles gift cards are redeemable only at the retailers you purchase the gift card from, for e.g. Target, Coles Express, Coles, Officeworks, Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and 1st Choice Liquor Superstores. However, Coles and Myer gift cards are valid across all retailers Coles Online Store
Coles Group and Myer
Target Target Australia gift cards can be loaded with $10, $20, $30, $40, $50, $75 and $100 Target Australia gift cards are valid for 24-months from date of purchase
  • Multiple gift card purchases exceeding totals of over $400 require submission of additional information for ID
  • All gift cards bought online are delivered with an additional, non-refundable, $3 delivery charge per gift card order
  • Gift cards cannot be delivered to a PO Box
  • Gift cards cannot be exchanged for cash or other gift cards of different denominations
  • Gift card balance will not be returned as change in cash
  • Orders of online gift card purchase may be cancelled before 9am the following day
  • Online purchases cannot be made with Target gift cards
Target Australia gift cards can be used only in Target Australia stores Target Australia Gift Cards

1 Comment to “Know the Redemption Restrictions of Your Gift Cards”

  1. [...] your card. As with general gift cards, this goes back to the concept of “breakage” (as covered previously on our blog) which is the driver behind what makes these cards such a lucrative offering to [...]

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