Gift Card Tips for the Season

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If you are thinking of buying, or expect to receive, gift cards this holiday season, the Ministry of Consumer Services has developed tips for buying and using the popular cards.

Consumers should be aware that:

    • Most gift cards should not have an expiry date; read the terms and conditions before you buy
    • In 2007, Ontario banned expiry dates on most retail business gift cards
    • Federally-regulated gift cards, which resemble credit cards and phone cards, may have expiry dates
    • Retailers cannot charge HST on gift cards
    • Cards purchased for use at malls, rather than individual retailers, often come with a one-time activation fee and can expire after 15 months
    • Keep the receipt to prove the value of the card if it is lost or stolen
    • Buy from reputable retailers, so that if the store goes out of business, you may get your money back
    • Gift cards should be stored in a safe place; they should treated as cash
    • Gift cards are the second-most requested gift during the holiday season

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